Empty stadiums a necessity to play sports this summer, says US expert

WASHINGTON, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the United States, said Wednesday that the only way to see sports return this summer is by holding events without fans in attendance and keeping players in hotels.


A view of the empty Juventus stadium, as a measure against coronavirus contagion, prior to the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, March 8, 2020. (Photo: AP)

"Nobody comes to the stadium. Put the players in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled," Fauci said of the possibility of holding sports events this summer. "Have them tested every week and make sure they don't wind up infecting each other."

"People say you can't play without spectators, but I think you'd get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game, particularly me," Fauci added. "I'm living in Washington and we have the MLB world champion Washington Nationals. I want to see them play again."

Fauci's comments came a week after 72% of Americans polled by Seton Hall University said they would not attend if sporting events resumed without a vaccine for COVID-19.

The U.S. is still battling against the disease as confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country soared over 600,000 with fatalities approaching 30,000 as of Wednesday. The major pro leagues have earlier been suspended due to the outbreak of the virus.