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Trump: Anthony Fauci ‘has nothing to do with NFL Football’

President Trump speaks during a news conference in front of Dr. Anthony Fauci.
President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci, right, see things differently when it comes to the 2020 NFL season.
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci often have different takes on the coronavirus, so perhaps it makes sense they don’t agree on how the NFL season might unfold.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, told CNN that “football may not happen this year” unless the NFL isolates players and team staff, and tests them daily. Fauci fears a “second wave” of coronavirus outbreaks ultimately could doom the season.

Trump doesn’t agree with Fauci’s assessment.

“Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football,” Trump tweeted Friday. “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!!!!”

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It remains to be seen what measures the NFL will take in ensuring its players stay healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With training camps opening next month, the league is expected to announce more protocols aimed at increasing safety for players and team personnel.

Fauci seems more or less convinced the NFL will have to adopt an isolation strategy with teams — similar to what the NBA is doing with its Orlando “bubble” — to protect players and staff sufficiently.

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and ... tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci told CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

The NFL isn’t the only league Fauci is predicting potential problems for in the months ahead. He told The Times earlier this week that Major League Baseball should consider wrapping up its season before October to avoid a potential coronavirus surge.


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