Baseball fans are not going to be happy with Dr. Anthony Fauci. During a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that he does not think MLB should play any games past September.
According to Fauci, MLB should avoid October because of a potential second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The news comes at a time when a number of professional sports leagues across the country are beginning to share their plans for resuming play. However, MLB has run into roadblocks with the MLB Players Association which has led to MLB commissioner Rod Manfred noncommittal about whether the league will return in 2020.
“Even in warm weather, like in Arizona and California, we’re starting to see resurgences as we open up (after shelter-at-home periods),” Fauci said. “But I think the chances of there being less of an issue in the end of July and all of August and September are much, much better than if you go into October. I’d have to underscore ‘probably.’ This virus is one that keeps fooling us. Under most circumstances — but we don’t know for sure here — viruses do better when the weather starts to get colder and people start spending more time inside, as opposed to outside. The community has a greater chance of getting infected.
“The likelihood is that, if you stick to the core summer months, you are better off, even though there is no guarantee. … If you look at the kinds of things that could happen, there’s no guarantee of anything. You would want to do it at a time when there isn’t the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave.”
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.
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.