Dr. Anthony Fauci Says ‘Football May Not Happen This Year’

Thursday, June 18th 2020, 3:23 pm
By: CBS News

As states lift coronavirus restrictions, businesses are figuring out how to make their returns – including the business of sports. Leagues are working out if and how they can kick off their seasons.

But one sport might not return at all in 2020, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert.

"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 told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

"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."

In response to Fauci's comments on Thursday, NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills released a statement saying the league is developing a rapid-results testing program and rigorous protocols.

"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," read Sills' statement, on the NFL's website.

The NFL, however, might not be on board with the bubble idea. Sills said this week the league does not think it is "practical or appropriate to construct a bubble," CBS Sports reported.  

Living in a "bubble" might not be far off for some, though. The NBA has a tentative plan to resume playing in July at Disney World in Orlando, according to CBS Sports. This is known as a "bubble site," where the players will stay while the NBA games are held. Players and workers entering the site must get tested. Once inside the bubble, everyone is expected to be tested each night, with the results coming the following morning, CBS Sports reports. 

Major League Soccer is also working out a way to return to the field. One idea is to have a tournament-style season, split between just two cities, according to CBS Sports. Plans could also involve players isolated in a bubble site and routinely tested with the hopes of eventually returning to home markets when possible, CBS Sports reported. 

First published on June 18, 2020 / 2:28 PM

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