The Washington Nationals announced on Monday that Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day at Nationals Park. The game — against the New York Yankees — is not just Opening Day for the Nationals; it’s the MLB season opener televised nationally on ESPN on Thursday, July 23.

The Nationals said in a statement that Fauci “has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title.”

Fauci is a “Nats super-fan” as the statement notes, and has made many public appearances wearing a Nats mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, he’s indeed a fitting choice, especially to serve as a reminder that — despite the MLB season starting — the pandemic is still very much a thing.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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