While the NFL released its 2020 regular-season schedule last week, questions still remain whether the season will carry on as originally scheduled amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

What better person to answer such questions than the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci? NBC Sports' Peter King spoke to him extensively about potential obstacles the virus presents to next season's timeline. 

"Like, right now, if you fast forward, and it is now September," Fauci said. "The season starts. I say you can’t have a season—it’s impossible. There’s too much infection out there. It doesn’t matter what you do. But I would hope that by the time you get to September it’s not gonna be the way it is right now.”


Fauci mentioned the inevitability the virus returns in the fall and that due to warm weather and travel from the southern hemisphere (South Africa, Argentina), there is no chance we'll be virus-free. According to him, keeping infections down in the fall will depend heavily on safety measures put in place over the coming months.

“As for the football season and what the fall is going to be: It will be entirely dependent on the effectiveness with which we as a society respond to the inevitable outbreak that will occur," he said.


“Now, even if the virus goes down dramatically in June and July and August, as the virus starts returning in the fall, it would be in my mind, shame on us if we don’t have in place all of the mechanisms to prevent it from blowing up again," he said. "In other words, enough testing to test everybody that needs to be tested."

Whether the NFL begins their regular season in September seems uncertain at this point, but mostly because medical experts such as Fauci remain uncertain of how the virus spreads in the future. As Fauci said, "The virus will make the decision for us."

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