Fauci Says Sports May Not Resume In 2020, MLB Officials ‘Near Certain’ Season Will Be Played

While Major League Baseball (MLB) is trying to figure out a way to have an abbreviated 2020 season, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci says sports might not happen this year.

Dr. Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told The New York Times on Tuesday that sports may be sidelined until widespread testing is available.

“Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything,” Dr. Fauci told the Times. “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.’”

However, senior MLB officials told Fox Business on Wednesday that they are “near certain there will be Major League Baseball in 2020,” according to a tweet from reporter Charles Gasparino.

Dr. Fauci, who has made frequent media appearances since the task force was formed, said earlier this month that “there’s a way” for sports to resume if games are played without fans in the seats and teams are quarantined in hotels between games.

“I would love to be able to have all sports back,” said Dr. Fauci. “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.”

He added that “if we let our desire to prematurely get back to normal, we can only get ourselves right back in the same hole we were in a few weeks ago.”

According to a report published Tuesday by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, MLB believes that it would be able to start the season by early July. There have been rumors that the season could possibly be played at Spring Training facilities in Arizona and Florida.

Moreover, the National Basketball Association is reopening team practice facilities beginning Friday for players in states and cities that are loosening stay-at-home restrictions, NBA sources told ESPN over the weekend.