Health official recommends no fans at NBA games in response to coronavirus

The director of the United States' National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told a congressional committee last night that he would recommend the NBA not allow fans at games in response to the coronavirus.

Steven Adams. Source: Associated Press

That answer by Dr. Anthony Fauci came hours before NBA owners are scheduled to meet to discuss the next steps in responding to the growing concern about the virus.

Fauci was responding to a question from Rep. Glenn Grothman, a Wisconsin Republican, during a meeting of the House Oversight Committee.

Grothman asked, “Is the NBA underreacting or is the Ivy League overreacting?” He was referencing how the Ivy League recently cancelled its basketball tournaments, instead of having them played without fans in attendance or keeping the status quo.

“We would recommend that there not be large crowds,” Fauci said. “If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it. But as a public health official, anything that has crowds is something that would give a risk to spread.”

So far over 40 sports have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak which has this morning been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.