MLB Fmr. Medicare acting administrator on why it's difficult to resume MLB games
With that being the format and – and it went successfully so what’s been the problem here with baseball. Well, the problem is that if you’ve got a league like the mlb it’s, not just what happens on the field, you’ve got airlines, you’ve got airports, you’ve got group activities, and you know this is a highly contagious disease, so it doesn’t take much uh and you know People can’t tell necessarily that they’re spreading it, whereas if you do what the nba did, which is a couple of things that i think were striking one is they developed really deep protocols, they isolated people in this bubble and then they rapidly test they test every day And they control the activities, a lot more people, aren’t going on airplanes and so forth, so it becomes very difficult for the mlb and i’m afraid it’s uh. It could get worse from here. So, are you saying that all the leagues i mean the nfl, for instance, which is also still working things out, should do the bubble to make this a viable season? Well, look if you want to have a viable season or a viable business there’s, a few things you want to be able to do you want to you want to limit the spread as much as possible.
You want to test as frequently as possible and you’ve got to test everybody. My understanding of the mlb is that they’re only been testing players frequently you’ve got a whole bunch of coaches and uh, and people in the clubhouse that aren’t being tested uh, whereas in in the nba they’ve tested every single person and got the cases down to zero.
So this should be a lesson for all of us in our businesses that if you do open and you leave some gaps, those gaps could come back to bite you and do you think it’s fair, that some of these sports uh stars sports teams get special treatment When it comes to what they’re allowed to do and how quickly and often they get tested, because they do bring great utility to so many millions of people across the country, look, we have a testing challenge in the us right now and right now, all of the Tests need to be going to the people that need them the most now the mlb is doing uh i mean the nba is doing something that i think is quite helpful and that they are testing out a brand new saliva test that they’ve agreed to be, in Effect the guinea pigs for that could be it would be a very low cost test that could be used through the general public. So i think, when a sports league steps forward like that to use themselves to help the general public that’s good for their image – and i think it’s fair.
But if they were going to be using lots and lots of tests say in baltimore. If the baltimore orioles were say, for example, and the people in baltimore are getting enough tests, i think that’s, not a good community. Look for a team. I mean i’m trying to figure out what went wrong here and what other lessons learned there are andy, i mean was the problem that the players themselves made the decision and the owners of how this was going to go, and it should have been left up to Infectious disease experts well, the problem is that they’re just behaving the way everybody else is behaving and the rest of us aren’t getting tested.
This disease is spreading rapidly throughout the country, uh it’s, spreading oftentimes with people that are asymptomatic or they may have life symptoms at first, so they don’t necessarily know they have it and they’re spreading it, and the people in major league baseball are being probably about. As careful as the rest of us are, the difference is the rest of us may be getting it and spreading it and passing it and likely don’t know if we know there, according to the cdc there’s eight ten times as many people who are getting coronavirus, as Are being tested for it so um, you know if you really want to ice to do to start a league, i think an nba approach uh. It seems like a much sounder approach. You think this whole season’s in jeopardy.
Oh, the old season, is clearly in jeopardy. The whole season is clearly in jeopardy. The question is um, you know, when did they have the look and it’s it’s an experiment and and they’re trying? This is a difficult year and i don’t think there should be a lot of blame uh blaming going around um. You know they’re making an effort. I think everything other than those cardboard fans is uh, you know is, is a valiant effort, but if they can’t, you know, if it turns out, they can’t, do it approach they’re doing it. They’Ll adjust and maybe they’ll adjust right and start it again later. Maybe they’ll have to end the season.
Andy slavitt good to hear from you.