Anthony Fauci: MLB playing games with some fans in stands ‘possible’
Dr. Anthony Fauci continues to weigh in on the possibility of a resumption of sports in the U.S. and elsewhere at some point, and the nation’s top infectious diseases expert envisioned this week how Major League Baseball could play a truncated season with even some fans in the stands.
That being said, Fauci insists that such a scenario at this point is unfortunately unlikely.
During an interview Monday with Jack Curry of YES Network, Fauci doubled down on his previous comments about MLB playing a truncated season at neutral sites — with players and other essential personnel living under quarantine — is the most plausible plan amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci breaks down the various possibilities for baseball’s return.— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 20, 2020
Look for @JackCurryYES' full #YESWereHere interview Dr. Fauci right here at 8pm tonight. pic.twitter.com/7FTHjFkZ2W
Fauci laid out during the interview how MLB teams returning to play in their home ballparks at some point in the future could be accomplished.
“That is possible,” Fauci told Curry on an episode of “Yes We’re Here,” as transcribed by Greg Joyce of the New York Post. “But as you said, and I affirm what I have been saying, it’s going to be the virus that determines what the timetable is. Because if we get the virus under really good control and certain regions of the country can get gradually from the gateway to the phase one to the phase two to the phase three, it is conceivable that you may be able to have some baseball with people practicing physical separation. Namely, you don’t pack a stadium.“
MLB continues to explore any potential scenario where the 2020 season could be played, even in a limited capacity. One plan that has gained some traction is holding all the games in Arizona at select facilities, though that one has been met with considerable push back from players.
Fauci, a baseball fan himself, believes MLB games being held without fans is the only way the 2020 season would be held. While doing so certainly is not ideal, Fauci argues that games being played in empty stadiums and “having them play on television is certainly better than nothing.”