The coronavirus pandemic could cancel the 2020 NFL season unless the league follows the NBA’s “bubble” approach, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.
“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.
“f 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,” said Fauci, who’s been the face of the United States' fight against COVID-19.
This follows reports this week that several players for the Dallas Cowboys -- including running back Ezekiel Elliott -- and Houston Texans tested positive for COVID-19.
The NFL already moved four games planned in London and one in Mexico City to the U.S.
The Giants, Jets and other NFL teams plan to report to training camp next month, with the annual Thursday night opener set for Sept. 10 in Kansas City, where the Chiefs are to host the Texans.
Fauci already has said that Major League Baseball should end its 2020 season – if there is one – by the end of September because another COVID-19 wave is likely coming. That includes the World Series.
Fauci much prefers the NBA’s plan to restart with 22 teams playing and living in what essentially will be a bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Disney World Resort outside of Orlando.
NBA players, coaches and staff members will go a month and a half before a limited number of family and guests can visit beginning on Aug. 30, among other strict safety measures.
“If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold,” Fauci told the Los Angeles Times. “I would avoid that.
“Even in warm weather, like in Arizona and California, we’re starting to see resurgences as we open up,” 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.”
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