Following the Marlins' coronavirus outbreak, Dr. Anthony Fauci believes the MLB season could be at risk but doesn't need to be shut down now.
Over a dozen Marlins players and staff members tested positive for the virus by Monday, and another four players reportedly tested positive on Tuesday. The team postponed their home opener against the Orioles on Monday night and remains stuck in Philadelphia following the outbreak. It also led the Phillies to postpone their game Monday night against the visiting Yankees while waiting to be tested.
Despite concerns over whether MLB should move forward with the season, Fauci told Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos it's not time to halt all games.
"This could put it in danger," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "I don't believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day-by-day basis."
"Major League Baseball—the players, the owners, the managers—have put a lot of effort into getting together and putting protocols that we feel would work," Fauci added. "It's very unfortunate what happened with the Miami [Marlins]."
Questions swirl over MLB's safety protocols and how it will handle the coronavirus crisis since the league's extremely detailed Operations Manual doesn't clearly spell out how to do so. Despite the stream of positive tests, commissioner Rob Manfred has faith in baseball's protocols.
"We expected we were going to have positives at some point in time," Manfred told Sports Illustrated and the MLB Network's Tom Verducci on Monday night. "I remain optimistic that the protocols are strong enough that it will allow us to play even through an outbreak like this and complete our season."
The Orioles, who made a trip to Miami without playing a game, are scheduled to host the Marlins in a two-game series starting Wednesday.
"If the testing results are acceptable, the Marlins will resume play in Baltimore on Wednesday against the Orioles," Manfred said.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.