The face of the federal government's coronavirus response suggested sports can return in 2020 so long as the games resume without fans in attendance.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID and leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said isolating players near stadiums and administering frequent testing would be plausible options during an interview with Peter Hamby of HLN.
"People are still holding out hope for some kind of abbreviated baseball season this summer -- college football will start in late August, NFL right after that," Hamby said. "Do you think those sports seasons are in jeopardy? Are we going to have college football this fall?"
"There's a way of doing that," Fauci said. "Nobody comes to the stadium -- put [the players] in big hotels, you know, wherever you want to play -- keep them very well surveilled, have them tested like every week. And make sure they don't wind up infecting each other or their families, and just let them play the season out."
The parameters of Fauci's proposal appear to mirror those laid out in one potential return scenario that MLB was said to be considering. Under that plan, widely reported last week, teams would essentially be confined to one state, either Arizona or Florida, and play out the entire season there.
Fauci disagreed with those who reject the notion of playing in empty ballparks, stadiums and arenas.
"I mean, people say, 'Well you can't play without spectators.' Well, I think you probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game -- particularly me, I'm living in Washington. We have the world champion Washington Nationals. I want to see them play again!"