Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the first game of Major League Baseball’s pandemic-delayed regular season. The Washington Nationals announced Monday that Fauci accepted the reigning World Series champions' invitation to have the pregame honor Thursday night, the AP reports. The Nationals host the New York Yankees to open the season nearly four months after it originally was scheduled to begin. Spring training was halted in March because of the COVID-19 outbreak, and teams resumed preparing to play this month.
Fauci is no fake fan, per Politico. He grew up in Brooklyn cheering for the Yankees, but now lives in the Washington area and roots for the Nationals. He wore a Nationals face mask last month on Capitol Hill. "I don't think there's any place that I relax more than sitting in Nats Park and watching my now world champion Nats play a game," he said. The Nationals said in a statement that Fauci is "a true champion for our country," during the pandemic “and throughout his distinguished career." (Fauci stressed the fundamentals to governors.)