Dr. Anthony Fauci clarifies stance on MLB restart: 'I never said we can't play a certain sport'

Dr. Anthony Fauci wants people to know where he stands on holding a Major League Baseball season in 2020. While speaking at a coronavirus hearing Tuesday, Fauci clarified his stance on baseball, saying he “never said we can’t play a certain sport.”

Fauci, 79, made those comments after Kentucky Senator Rand Paul asked Fauci’s opinion on reopening schools. Toward the end of his question, Paul stated, “All I hear, Dr. Fauci, is, ‘We can’t do this, we can’t do that. We can’t play baseball.’ ”

Fauci answered the school question first, but eventually came back to Paul’s comment on baseball.

Fauci explained the situation, saying he only speaks in facts, and did not explicitly state baseball could not be played in 2020. The New York Post fully transcribed the baseball portion of Fauci’s answer

“The other thing I’d like to clarify very briefly. I never said we can’t play a certain sport. What happens is the people in the sports industry … from the [MLB] Players Association, owners, people involved in the health of the players ask me opinions regarding certain facts about the spread of the virus. I give it, and then it gets interpreted that I’m saying you can’t play this sport or you can’t play that sport,” he said.

“The only thing I can do is to the best of my ability give you the facts and evidence associated with what I know about this outbreak.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Fauci — an immunologist — has emerged as a leading authority on coronavirus. Given his expertise, Fauci has answered numerous questions regarding whether it’s safe for sports to resume. He’s mostly expressed caution over an MLB season, though admitted it would help the country’s mental health.

MLB intends to hold a 60-game season in 2020. Opening day is expected to occur in late July.

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