U.S. health official recommends NBA play without crowds due to coronavirus risk

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Anthony Fauci, testifies about coronavirus preparedness and response to the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

(Reuters) - Anthony Fauci, head of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told a congressional hearing on Wednesday that he would recommend the National Basketball Association play their games without a crowd because of the fast-moving coronavirus outbreak.

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

Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by David Gregorio