Dr. Anthony Fauci Supports NBA’s Plan to Resume Play in Orlando

Dr. Anthony Fauci has thrown his support behind the NBA’s plan to return to play in Orlando, Florida with a 22-team tournament. While speaking with Stadium’s Anthony Kim, Fauci endorsed the league’s “creative” plan after reviewing how the NBA plans to resume the season.

The league is eyeing a 22-team format that would include 8 regular-season games and the postseason in Orlando, Florida. The 8 games would be played in order to determine the playoff seeding. Games would take place from July 31 through October 12.

“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 said. “Essentially testing everybody, [making] sure you start with a baseline of everybody being negative and trying to make sure there is no influx into that cohort of individuals and do a tournament-type play.

“It’s not the classic basketball season, but certainly for the people who are thirsting for basketball, who love basketball the way I do, it’s something I think is a sound plan. I was very pleased to see that the intent was not reckless at all. They really wanted to make sure that the safety of the players and the people associated with the players was paramount.”

The 74-year-old Fauci has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and one of the most respected voices during the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci, who has advised six presidents, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2008.

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The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including The Masters, NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS have temporarily suspended their seasons.

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 117,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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