President Trump insisted once again that colleges should play football and made the very dubious claim that student athletes are strong enough to withstand coronavirus, even though several major conferences have postponed or are considering postponing their football seasons.
“Hopefully we can watch colleges play football. We want to get football in colleges. These are young, strong people. They won’t have a big problem with the China virus. So, we want to see college football start and hopefully a lot of great people are going to be out there, they’re going to be playing football and they’ll be able to fight it off,” Trump said Tuesday at a news conference at the White House.
“And hopefully it won’t bother it one bit. Most of them will never get it, statistically. But we know we’ll see more cases at some point, and we will eventually develop sufficient immunity in addition to everything else that we’re doing,” he claimed. “So, college football, get out there and play football. People want to see it.”
Despite Trump’s assertions that college football players are somehow unlikely to get coronavirus or experience its severe effects, several colleges and universities have already seen a growing number of student athletes testing positive for the virus.
And though Trump insists that college football players are less likely to be severely impacted from the coronavirus because they’re “young, strong people,” research shows that 1 in 3 young adults (ages 18 to 25) are at risk of severe Covid-19, with smoking playing a big part in their level of risk.
And though earlier in the outbreak health experts underscored that older adults were most vulnerable to coronavirus, the proportion of cases in teens and young adults has gone up sixfold, according to the World Health Organization.
CNN reported earlier Tuesday that the Pac-12 has postponed all sports including football through the calendar year and the Big Ten conference has postponed the 2020 football season. Other universities and conferences have also announce a pause on college sports.
The President concluded by telling players to stand for the American flag and the national anthem, claiming that the NBA and NFL had had poor ratings for allowing players to protest during the song.