Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the leading figures in the country's fight against the coronavirus pandemic, told The New York Times that the United States is not ready for sports to resume as normal.
“I would love to be able to have all sports back,” Dr. Fauci said. “But as a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we’re not ready for that yet.”
Dr. Fauci previously said sports could return this summer—but only under certain conditions. He said some sports like Major League Baseball will need to make certain sacrifices in order to resume. MLB had proposed a plan where all 30 teams stay in hotels, players get tested and games are played in empty ballparks.
Dr. Fauci did not give a specific date when testing would be at a level for sports leagues or teams to have broad access to testing that would not conflict with the public's testing. He has engaged in talks with sports executives but did not disclose names.
"Because safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything. If you can’t guarantee safety, then unfortunately you’re going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season,‘" Fauci said.
President Trump held a conference call on April 15 that included major sports figures including league commissioners Adam Silver Rob Manfred, Don Garber, Gary Bettman and Roger Goodell. On April 6 , Trump said sports would resume "sooner rather than later" and that he wants fans back in the arenas "as soon as we can, obviously."