John Harbaugh on Dr. Anthony Fauci's COVID-19 warning for NFL: 'I'm not going to run for cover'
Dr. Anthony Fauci made waves when he warned last week that soccer may not take place this fall.
John Harbaugh said Monday that he was not so concerned about it. But his confidence was not without problems.
The Baltimore Ravens coach told reporters on Monday that he plans to make the NFL season progress as planned.
"I will not take cover"
"You can see it the way you want to see it, but I won't take cover and I don't think it's the NFL," Harbaugh said in a virtual press conference on The Baltimore Sun. . "But they will try to be safe. And safety will come first, and the health of everyone involved and the fans will be a top priority."
Harbaugh's statement is in response to a terrible warning from the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. With coronavirus numbers increasing in the south and west and a feared second wave of the outbreak, Fauci expressed skepticism about whether football was being played at all.
"If players are not essentially in a bubble - isolated from the community and tested almost daily - it is very difficult to see how football can be played this fall," Fauci told CNN Thursday. "If there is a second wave that is certainly an option and that would be hampered by the predictable flu season, soccer may not take place this year."
John Harbaugh said he was "confident" that the NFL would play this fall before reflecting this assurance in the same statement. (Photo by Todd Olszewski / Getty Images)
Harbaugh before: "Humanly impossible"
Less than two weeks ago, Harbaugh himself expressed doubts about combining the contradicting realities of COVID-19 and football and called it “humanly impossible”.
"To be perfectly honest, what they ask of us is impossible - humanly impossible," Harbaugh told 105.7 on June 11th to the fan. "So we'll do whatever we can do." We go into space. We'll have masks.
"But you know, it's a communication sport. We have to be able to communicate personally. We have to practice."
His thoughts on Monday are more in line with the NFL's response to Fauci.
"Make no mistake, that's not an easy task," wrote NFL chief physician Dr. Allen Sills on Thursday in a reply to Fauci. "We will make adjustments as necessary to suit the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as planned with increased protocols and security measures for all players, employees and participants."
Harbaugh's confidence is waning
In the meantime, Harbaugh said he is confident that the NFL season will take place. Even though he went from "confident" to "hopeful" about "praying for" to "I want it" in his own statement.
"I am confident that it will happen," continued Harbaugh. "I am very hopeful. I pray for it. I want it to happen and I think it will happen, I think it will happen. I think we will have the minutes."
Harbaugh works in the same reality as everyone else. This reality has put a damper on what looked like the green light to return to sport in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in recent weeks.
As the corona virus has risen sharply in several states where the social distance guidelines have been relaxed, teams in all sports are trying to contain it in their own circles when players get back together.
On Friday, Clemson announced 28 cases among 315 tested players and employees, including 23 among the players. On Thursday, Texas announced 13 positive tests among players and 10 others in self-quarantine. The state of Kansas reported 14 positive tests and ended the training.
NFL teams have not yet gathered for training. In this case, however, they face the same challenges as college programs.
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