President Donald Trump publicly responded to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House coronavirus expert, who speculated that the NFL season may not happen unless the league finds a way to insulate the players and their families from the virus.
“Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football. They are planning a very safe and controlled opening,” said Trump. “However, if they don’t stand for our National Anthem and our Great American Flag, I won’t be watching!!!”
Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football. They are planning a very safe and controlled opening. However, if they don’t stand for our National Anthem and our Great American Flag, I won’t be watching!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
Trump, who recently encouraged the NFL to give Colin Kaepernick a chance at playing again if he can demonstrate his talent, appears to have been responding to Fauci’s conversation with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the football season.
“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,” said Fauci, reports CNN. “If 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.”
Dr. Allen Sills, chief medical officer for the NFL, responded: “Dr. Fauci has identified the important health and safety issues we in the NFL players Association, together with our joint medical advisers, or addressing to mitigate the health risk to players, coaches and other essential personnel,” said Sills. “We are developing a comprehensive and rapid result testing program and rigorous protocols that call for a shared responsibility from everyone inside our football ecosystem. This is based on the collective guidance of public health officials, including the White House task force, the CDC, infectious disease experts, and other sports leagues.”
“Make no mistake, this is no easy task. We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as scheduled with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel and attendees,” said Sills, who remarked that the league would be “flexible and adaptable in this environment to adjust to the virus as needed.”
Statement from NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills in response to Dr. Fauci “bubble” comment this morning. pic.twitter.com/hNKdC8qNdC
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) June 18, 2020
Dr. Fauci appeared on NPR earlier this week and shared that he believes a second wave is “not inevitable,” and that an increase of coronavirus cases in certain states is likely attributable to people “not really adhering to the structured type of guidelines that belong to the phase that they’re in,” reports USA Today.
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