News and Commentary

Fauci Explains His Errant Opening Day Pitch: ‘Completely Miscalculated Distance From The Mound’
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo by
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, an immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force, is a household name and, according to a recent survey, one of the most trusted men in America.

In a national poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College in the middle of June, 76% of respondents said they trusted Fauci for “accurate information” about the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with 26% who said they trusted President Trump.

But the 79-year-old apparently couldn’t be trusted to know how far a Major League Baseball mound is from home plate.

For the record, the distance is 60 feet 6 inches from the back of the pitcher’s “rubber” to the rear point of the plate.

The doctor threw out the first pitch at the Washington, D.C., team’s home opener last week, and the Times reported on Monday that he “was determined to come to the Nationals mound prepared. Growing up in Brooklyn, he played shortstop on a local Catholic youth team. Days before the pitch on Thursday, he went to Horace Mann, an elementary school in northwest Washington, to rehearse on the lawn.”

“I pitched and pitched,” he said in an interview on Monday. “I threw my arm out. I hadn’t thrown a baseball literally in decades. After I practiced, my arm was hanging around my feet.” But he said he made a fatal error. Without a baseball field at the school to practice on, he had to measure 60 feet — the distance from a major-league mound to home plate — himself, and accidentally came up about 20 feet short.

When Fauci arrived on the mound at Nationals Park, he quickly learned that he was much farther from home plate. He pulled his arm back high, then misfired the ball well to the left,  diagonally into the grass, far from pitcher Sean Doolittle, who had been picked to play catcher for the pitch.

“He looked to me like he was like 500 feet away. That made me throw it much harder than I had been practicing,” Fauci said. “I completely miscalculated the distance from the mound.”

The doctor’s frank admission drew some scorn on social media.

“The brilliant mind responsible for modeling the future of COVID-19 and predicting the implications of lockdowns fails to model the correct distance from a pitchers mound,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Wrote another: “He’s got an excuse for everything, though not sure how a straight line being 20 feet longer makes you throw it 20 feet in a totally different direction. If he’s that bad at ‘calculating,’ perhaps we should’ve had someone else on AIDS/HIV.”

“Babylon Bee had a great headline the day of the errant pitch: “CNN Calls Dr. Fauci’s Wild Pitch ‘100% Accurate, Completely On Target’.”

“CNN is reporting that the ceremonial first pitch to open up the 2020 season at Nationals Park, which was thrown wildly off the mark by none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci, was 100% accurate, completely on target, and a ‘real strike.'” said the satirical website.

RELATED: WATCH: Dr. Fauci Throws Disastrous First Pitch At MLB Game; Players Kneel For Black Lives Matter

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