Fauci to throw 1st pitch at Yankees-Nationals opener in DC

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FILE – In this April 22, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump watches as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 — a self-described fan of the reigning World Series champions — accepted the team’s invitation to have the pregame honor Thursday night.

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.

In their new release about Fauci’s role at the opener, the Nationals refer to him as “a true champion for our country” during the pandemic “and throughout his distinguished career.”

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