Fauci: “Impossible to call” if football can be played in the fall

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Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said during an appearance on CNN it would be hard to see how football could be played in the fall if players weren’t quarantined in a “bubble.”

But the nation’s top infectious disease expert clarified those remarks, saying he was speaking in general terms only, since the unknowns about the progression of the coronavirus pandemic make it “impossible to call” whether a return to play can happen.

“The situation this fall will be dictated by the dynamics of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States,” Fauci said, via Kristian Dyer of SI.com. “Optimally you would want to see the level of infection dramatically decreased and good control of any evidence of resurgence. Again, the officials of the league in consultation with the players will make their own decisions. . . .

“My statements about the NFL season have been misinterpreted and taken out of context. I was asked by officials from the NFL about risks associated with various scenarios that the NFL might face in consideration of the upcoming season. I provided advice from a public health standpoint. The ultimate decision is not mine but that of the officials of the NFL and the players themselves.”

The NFL has a month before teams are scheduled to report for training camps, giving them time to wait for more data, and the league’s chief medical officer emphasized the need to be “flexible and adaptable.”

Positive cases are popping up practically everywhere athletes are gathering, and the NFLPA has advised players to stop congregating before training camp. Of course, having a player such as Tom Brady lead workouts in defiance of that suggestion speaks to how difficult it will be to implement that.

48 responses to “Fauci: “Impossible to call” if football can be played in the fall

  1. It’s easy to say there won’t be, you get 80 or 90 people together and you’re going to have an outbreak of coronavirus in your building, it’s that simple, there won’t be football until 2021

  2. Can’t do a bubble for most sports. Basketball has 13 players per team, a lot easier to do. They will be playing football and it will be just fine.

  3. aka there’s gonna be no football in 2020…look at mlb they can’t get more than 6 guys together without someone getting it…

  4. 6ringsnewengland says:
    June 24, 2020 at 9:25 am
    This guy has been about as right as the weatherman
    —————————————————————————————-
    In science, you go with the available data and make conclusions, then change your conclusion if the data dictates. This is a novel situation, I’m sure he hasn’t been correct about everything but I don’t think he’s the major problem with the US response.

    What specific recommendations or predictions do you think he got wrong?

  5. Of course football can be played this year.

    It may just be 7 vs 7 games, with some sort of laser tag configuration for “tackles,” and no fans in the stands, but it can be played.

  6. Yes, positive cases are popping up everywhere.

    But what about hospitalizations? Or even illnesses? I thought the entire point of the lockdowns was to not overwhelm the healthcare system. So far, that’s not even close to happening and there is a reserve of PPE. AND, the overwhelming majority of COVID deaths were aged 80+, which athletes (and virtually all fans in attendance) are not.

    If you are going to let millions of people gather shoulder to shoulder to protest, let a multi-billion dollar industry run its operations which are vital to some state’s economies.

  7. Why do we have to listen to this guy? I am fine going to games. I go to work daily. There have been dozens of cases where I work – nobody has been even remotly in rough shape from my work. Get back to work pro athletes or just cancel all sports leagues for good. If the athletes cant go to work when the rest of can making peanuts in comparison, then I have no respect whatsoever for professional and NCAA athletes.


  8. 6ringsnewengland says:
    June 24, 2020 at 9:25 am
    This guy has been about as right as the weatherman
    ———————
    jetsfan says:
    June 24, 2020 at 9:50 am
    I wish I could be as wrong as this guy has been and still be called an expert.

    And yet neither of you cited one thing Dr. Fauci has been wrong about.

    From the start of the pandemic he has spoken of what could happen, like hundreds of thousand of people dying if mitigation processes were not properly implemented, and he is clearly, and unfortunately, correct about that fact.

  9. It doesn’t matter what this guy or any other expert says, the NFL will do what it wants.

  10. It’s time for these Doctors to be put back in their place.
    This virus has been so overblown. There are not healthy people under 60 dropping like flies because of this thing.
    It’s targeted our parent and grandparents mostly in overpriced assisted living facilities or if you unfortunate have a health issue.
    There are 332 million people in this country and only 160 thousand have died and we are supposed to hide and not work and completely
    Stop life as we know it??
    None of these doctors are struggling to pay bills or having their credit scores get murdered or out of work and never getting their old jobs back.
    WHEN I NEED A DOCTOR I WILL CALL ONE!!!!

  11. The biggest mistake is thinking that every time someone tests positive it is because they didn’t listen to public health officials or because someone didn’t wash their hands enough, etc. Be smart, social distance, etc. But understand, this disease is going to run its course no matter what.

  12. It’s not impossible! It is being played because the NFL does not allow the media and their fear mongering to dictate their business. The swine flu didn’t shut down the country!

  13. JJ412 says:
    June 24, 2020 at 9:35 am
    6ringsnewengland says:
    June 24, 2020 at 9:25 am
    This guy has been about as right as the weatherman
    —————————————————————————————-
    In science, you go with the available data and make conclusions, then change your conclusion if the data dictates. This is a novel situation, I’m sure he hasn’t been correct about everything but I don’t think he’s the major problem with the US response.

    What specific recommendations or predictions do you think he got wrong?

    —-

    Dr. Anthony Fauci said there was “nothing to worry about” in late February 2020 in regards to COVID-19 and it was “safe” to do things like go to the movies and the gym.

  14. It’s not the government thats going to shut down the NFL in 2020, its the NFL and NFLPA realizing it won’t be viable in 2020.

    The death rate for healthy people under age 40 is around 3/1000. Assuming every player got infected, thats around 6 players dead, and assuming most are married, 6 spouses dead, and their children infected. We don’t know what percent of survivors have long term damage.
    Coaches also would get sick and they (and their spouses) tend to be older.

    Football is not vital though I love watching it. I think it’s nuts to have fans attend sporting events.

  15. orechia33 says:
    June 24, 2020 at 9:04 am

    Herd immunity ends this.

    *******************

    Before getting excited about “herd immunity,” it’s best to do the math. Normally, herd immunity is thought to take at least 60% of the population to be infected (or vaccinated, if that’s available). ONE recent study says it might be achieved with as low as 43% in the case of this coronavirus. So let’s look at that.

    The population of the US is 328.2 million, so if you accept the 43% number, 141.1 million Americans would have to be infected. Right now, we’re approaching 2.5 million cases, so we’re a long way away from herd immunity. And let’s look at the death rate. There are too many unknowns to be certain, but it’s likely somewhere between 1% and 0.5%. That means that if you get to your 141.1 million herd immunity, between 705,500 and 1.41 million of those people will die.

    So, taking an optimistic view of the numbers, achieving herd immunity means the sacrifice of at least 700 thousand lives, well over half a million more lives than have been lost to date. With illness and death numbers like that, I’m not sure how well the economy can function, and football will be the least of our worries.

  16. 1. Nobody “has to” listen to Fauci. He said himself it’s not his call; he gives advice and others make their call.

    2. ICUs in the Tucson area are at or near capacity and ICU capacity statewide is at its lowest ever—-all while cases are still surging. Record numbers of cases are being experienced in Texas, Florida, Arizona and southern California.

    3. The states most anxious to reopen everything are the ones getting slammed with new cases. Reopening isn’t necessarily the problem. The problem is that people in those states seem to think that means they can jam into enclosed spaces (especially bars and clubs) and not wear masks.

    4. Young people are less susceptible to bad cases of COVID-19, but they’re not immune, and their carelessness is causing this surge. And “less susceptible” doesn’t mean it’s no big deal. Scientists are starting to see correlations between non-age-related things, like certain blood types. Young people, even little kids, can get bizarre and life-threatening clotting disorders and immune overreactions that cause system-wide organ failure. I want football to return as much as anybody, but I also don’t want to think about the player(s) or their family members who will end up horribly ill or even die. What’s more, even people with mild cases end up with lung issues, and that’s a big problem for athletes.

    All of this is a high-stakes balancing act. I’m glad I’m not the one having to make decisions that affect large groups of people.

  17. SWFLPC.INC says:
    June 24, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Dr. Anthony Fauci said there was “nothing to worry about” in late February 2020 in regards to COVID-19 and it was “safe” to do things like go to the movies and the gym.

    ****************************************************************************

    Is that supposed to be convincing? February was 4.5 months ago before we knew anything about COVID which, as has been stated a million times, is a “novel” virus. To not expect him any change in recommendations as learn more about the virus over that amount of time is insane.

  18. “I thought the entire point of the lockdowns was to not overwhelm the healthcare system. So far, that’s not even close to happening…”
    ————————————————————————
    That’s just flat false. Thanks to the rush to open everything up, the virus is spiking back to it’s highest levels in several states. Texas, Arizona and Florida are soaring and the healthcare systems there are back to square one. Missouri has spiked back to it’s highest level of infections and deaths. The Childrens hospital in Houston is admitting adult COVID patients in an effort to relieve burden on the system elsewhere. This isn’t going away and ignoring it is just plain stupid.

  19. remizak says:

    Before getting excited about “herd immunity,” it’s best to do the math.
    ————————–
    Herd immunity is about weakening the virus, not ending it. And it is very much weaker now than it was when it first came around. Look at all of the positive tests in the sports world in the past month – no serious hospitalizations or deaths in the Pro sports world within that time. We are way ahead of this thing and it will be near its end by fall as a “deadly” virus.

  20. No one knows anything about the future. Taking one dude’s prediction as affirmative is equally as foolhardy as getting all worked up b/c his prediction is something you don’t wanna hear

  21. drugsdelaney says:
    June 24, 2020 at 12:20 pm
    No one knows anything about the future. Taking one dude’s prediction as affirmative is equally as foolhardy as getting all worked up b/c his prediction is something you don’t wanna hear

    ***************************************************************************

    Except it’s not one dude. It’s multiple professions that are focused on studying diseases (e.g., biology, epidemiology, public health, biostatistics, geneticists).

  22. SWFLPC.INC says:
    June 24, 2020 at 9:14 am
    Why does this guy believe it’s his call
    ————-
    Dr Fauci quoted directly from the article above:

    “I provided advice from a public health standpoint. The ultimate decision is not mine but that of the officials of the NFL and the players themselves.”

    He literally said in the article it’s not his call….

  23. HagemeisterPark says:
    June 24, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    remizak says:

    Before getting excited about “herd immunity,” it’s best to do the math.
    ————————–
    Herd immunity is about weakening the virus, not ending it. And it is very much weaker now than it was when it first came around. Look at all of the positive tests in the sports world in the past month – no serious hospitalizations or deaths in the Pro sports world within that time. We are way ahead of this thing and it will be near its end by fall as a “deadly” virus.

    *****************

    You’re talking about a totally different thing from herd immunity. You’re talking about weaker strains developing and predominating over stronger viral strains, which can happen. In the Spanish Flu, for example, the strong strains killed people so fast that their spreader rate wasn’t as good as weaker strains.

    Sure, we can hope that this virus weakens, and maybe it will. But it’s magical thinking to believe that “it will be near its end by fall as a ‘deadly’ virus.” I try to follow as much of the scientific info about this as a I can and I haven’t seen anything to indicate that.

    Right now, European countries are seeing sustained drops in their infection rates, while the US rates are surging. And that’s not because of anything to do with viral strains, but largely because Europeans are willing to take simple precautions, like wearing masks, while way too many Americans aren’t. Those Americans will be the ones to blame if we don’t have football this season.

  24. tomdelsnj says:
    June 24, 2020 at 10:13 am

    “…and only 160 thousand have died….”
    ———————————

    Hard to believe someone could be that cavalier about 160 thousand deaths.

  25. It will be interesting to see how the other sports leagues (NHL, MLB) do when they start up. That will give us a better idea of the feasibility of the NFL playing a full season. The NFL, because of the larger number of players, coaches, trainers, etc., will have a bigger challenge. It is impossible to predict how things will go at this point, but we will have a much better idea toward the end of July.

  26. I trust fauci far more than anybody who thinks this virus is a hoax EVEN AFTER 120 k americans are dead and it’s only june. And that includes the president.

  27. The irrational attacks on an expert in infectious diseases by non- scientists tells you all you need to know about the state of affairs in this country and why we are headed towards an second lockdown.

    Also, for those promoting herd immunity ought to know that it only works if the country has adequate healthcare available to all and they is affordable. We might have had it if we had kept the affordable care act but that was destroyed and now people don’t have access to healthcare

  28. So what happens if some teams are hit a lot harder than someone they play? Do we just call it the luck of the draw?

  29. So people that think we have to wait for a vaccine, there might NEVER be one. There isn’t one for the cold. There isn’t one for HIV (which has killed 32+ million people).

    So what if there never is one? We have to adapt and move on. We can’t all hide in our basements forever.

  30. SWFLPC.INC says:
    June 24, 2020 at 9:14 am
    Why does this guy believe it’s his call?

    —————

    Are you dense? He literally says it’s not his call but they asked for his advice.

  31. SWFLPC.INC says:
    June 24, 2020 at 9:14 am
    Why does this guy believe it’s his call?

    Reading comprehension is not your thing is it?
    He literally said it wasn’t up to him.

  32. Classic case of blaming the messenger for news you don’t want to hear. I think I’ll listen to the medical expert and ignore the guys on a football site who think they know better.

  33. I have had enough of Fauci to last a life time. I realize the media keep reaching out to this guy for ammunition but It’s time for kids to go to school in the fall and time for parents to go to work and all businesses to be open including the NFL. Time for life to go on. Protect the elderly and get back to business.

  34. The US has 4.25% of the world population and 25% of the world COVID-19 death rate. If you feel that your haircut, manicure or happy hour are worth more than thousands of American lives, you might be a monster.

  35. For a guy that is supposed to be the leader of men through this pandemic, he sure is wrong an awful lot. I know the scientists go off of best available data and then make predictions based off of that. The problem is that he hasn’t been right on very much.

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