NFL

Dr. Fauci Says If Coronavirus Pandemic Has Second Wave ‘Football May Not Happen This Year’

Jun 18, 2020, 11:57 AM | Updated: 12:08 pm
Dr. Anthony Fauci...
Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, participates in the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control, has said that a potential second wave of coronavirus later this year could flare up again and coincide with flu season. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that is the coronavirus pandemic has a second wave, “football may not happen” in 2020.

Fauci recently told CNN that football players would need to play “in a bubble” environment and be tested on a regular basis if football is going to be played this year.

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci said. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”

After Fauci’s remarks, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills released a statement saying that the league was working to create safety measures for the upcoming season.

“We are developing a comprehensive and rapid-result testing program and rigorous protocols that call for a shared responsibility from everyone inside our football ecosystem. This is based on the collective guidance of public health officials, including the White House task force, the CDC, infectious disease experts, and other sports leagues,” Sills said. “Make no mistake, this is no easy task. We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as scheduled with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel and attendees. We will be flexible and adaptable in this environment to adjust to the virus as needed.”

Recently, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said that a source told him that the NFL Players Association told its players they could be tested for COVID-19 about every three days and would be isolated if they test positive.

Dr. Fauci on playing in a “bubble” environment

Recently, Dr. Fauci said that the NBA’s plan to restart the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus pandemic was “quite creative” and he thinks the league might “quite successful with it.”

“I actually have looked at that plan and it is really quite creative. What they are really trying to do, and I think they might very well be quite successful with it, is to create a situation where it is as safe as it possibly could be for the players by creating this bubble,” Fauci told Stadium. “Essentially testing everybody. Make sure that you start with a baseline of everybody being negative and trying to make sure that there is no influx into that cohort of individuals and do a tournament type play.”

Fauci continued by saying that he believes the NBA’s plan to finish its season didn’t have reckless intent.

“I was very pleased to see that the intent was not reckless at all,” Fauci said. “They really wanted to make sure that the safety of the players and the people associated with the players was paramount.”

Football Schedules

The NFL is currently scheduled to begin the 2020 season when the Houston Texans play the Kansas City Chiefs on September 10.

College Football is set to begin in late August and most FBS teams are scheduled to play their opening games during the first week in September.

On June 17, the NCAA approved a six-week preseason practice plan for football programs across the country.

Dr. Fauci on Sports

Since the coronavirus pandemic halted the sporting world in March, Dr. Fauci has spoken multiple times about his love sports and league’s plans to being play again.

In March, Fauci joined NBA star and Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry for a Q&A about the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

In April, he said, “there’s a way” for sports to return quickly despite the coronavirus pandemic during an interview with Snapchat.

“There’s a way of doing that. Nobody comes to the stadium. Put them in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled,” Fauci told Snapchat’s Peter Hamby. “Have them [players] tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family and just let them play the season out.”

However, in May, Dr. Fauci said that he thought it would be difficult for sports to return in 2020.

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

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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Dr. Fauci Says If Coronavirus Pandemic Has Second Wave ‘Football May Not Happen This Year’