Dr. Anthony Fauci believes a decision on whether to play football this fall is “impossible to call” in June.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday that the NFL and NCAA should be closely monitoring the number of COVID-19 infections during workouts and using the data gleaned to drive their decisions on whether to play games as scheduled this fall.
“The situation this fall will be dictated by the dynamics of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States,” Fauci said. “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.”
Fauci said last week that the NFL should be considering a “bubble environment.” That reference is to the campus-type setup that the NBA and Major League Soccer are implementing in Florida.
NFL officials haven’t swayed from the plan to report to training camp in late July and start the regular season Sept. 10.
Fauci said he has been asked by officials from the NFL for his take on risks associated with returning to football.
“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,” Fauci said. “I merely provide advice based on data and science. I certainly do not make the call on whether a league can or cannot return.”