When America’s pastime formally returns on Thursday, will probably be ushered in by none apart from the nation’s main infectious illness professional.
The Washington Nationals announced Monday that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day.
The reigning World Series champions will play the New York Yankees at residence to kick off the common season, which has been shortened from 162 to 60 video games by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title,” the staff mentioned in a press release.
Fauci has been one of many nation’s most seen public well being specialists all through the coronavirus pandemic. He has additionally been vocal about his love of the Nats.
He wore a face masks with the staff’s title and brand to testify alongside different members of the White House coronavirus job power at a congressional listening to last month.
And in April, when Major League Baseball was nonetheless on hiatus, Fauci spoke of eager to see the staff again in motion, even when it meant video games resuming with out in-person spectators.
“I think you’ll probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game, particularly me,” Fauci mentioned. “I’m living in Washington, we have the world champion Washington Nationals. I want to see them play again.”
The season sometimes begins in April and ends in October, however the MLB put opening day on maintain due to the pandemic. It will function with enhanced health and safety procedures, together with requiring gamers to make use of their very own private tools when potential and apply bodily distancing.