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Dr. Fauci: Sports can return in 2020 without fans in attendance


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Dr. Anthony Fauci sees a way back for sports this year.

One of the leading medical experts for the Trump administration's coronavirus task force believes the best way to resume North American sports is meticulously monitoring players and keeping fans out of arenas for the foreseeable future.

"There's a way of doing that," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told Snapchat's Peter Hamby when asked about starting up sports again. "Nobody comes to the stadium. Put (teams) in big hotels wherever you want to play. Keep them very well surveilled.

"... But have them tested, like every week," he added. "And make sure they don't wind up infecting each other or their family and just let them play the season out."

Fauci was answering Hamby's question specifically about the MLB, NFL, and college football seasons, which have yet to begin their respective 2020 campaigns.

However, his advice sounds similar to the NBA's reported plan from earlier this month that proposes hosting all remaining games in Las Vegas without fans in attendance. A comparable plan is reportedly being considered for baseball, but with all contests in Arizona.

"I mean people say 'Well you can't play without spectators.' Well, I think you probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game," Fauci added. "Particularly me: I'm living in Washington (D.C.). We have the world champion Washington Nationals. I want to see them playing again."

President Donald Trump has expressed a strong desire to see sports restart soon in the United States, though medical experts, including Fauci, are cautioning against a return to normalcy too soon.

On Tuesday, Trump announced he's seeking advice from several prominent U.S. sports executives about how to best end the lockdown that the COVID-19 pandemic prompted.

Some within his newly formed panel include NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB commissioners Adam Silver, Roger Goodell, Gary Bettman, and Rob Manfred, respectively. UFC president Dana White and WWE CEO Vince McMahon were also named.

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