Major League Baseball is doing its part to find a cure for the devastating coronavirus. Twenty-seven of the league’s 30 teams are participating in a study which could test around 10,000 people for coronavirus antibodies, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.com. Stanford University, the University of Southern California and the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory are running the study.
“This is the first study of national scope where we’re going to get a read on a large number of communities throughout the United States to understand how extensive the spread of the virus has been,” Stanford Dr. Jay Bhattacharya stated (via Passan), adding: “Why MLB versus other employers? I’ve reached out to others, but MLB moved by far the fastest. They’ve been enormously cooperative and flexible. We’re trying to set up a scientific study that would normally take years to set up, and it’s going to be a matter of weeks.”
Bhattacharya hopes to get the results by week’s end, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic relays. It’s unclear which teams aren’t partaking in this study, but we have confirmation of some of those that are in the mix. The Pirates (via Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), the Mariners (Greg Johns of MLB.com tweets), the Tigers (according to Jason Beck of MLB.com), the Athletics and Giants (Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes), the Astros (per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle) the Phillies (Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays) and both New York clubs (Tim Healey of Newsday reports) are among those lending a hand.
It’s clear that the league would stand to benefit financially from baseball returning as soon as possible, but it doesn’t seem that’s its primary focus in taking part in this study. Rather, Dr. Daniel Eichner – the president of Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory – told Passan: “MLB did not partner with us for any selfish reason to get their sport back sooner. They jumped in for public health policy. That was their intention and their only intention.”