The National Basketball Association is reportedly considering a one to two-week pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last week, many teams have played without key players due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. NBA stars Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid have missed games due to COVID-19 protocols. Most notably, the Philadelphia 76ers were forced to play with only eight available players due to COVID-19 protocols. As a result, 76ers power forward Dwight Howard had to play point guard.
"I don't think we should (play). But it's not for me to express that. I do worry about our player health," Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers said before Sunday's game.
"Dwight Howard is going to have to play point guard, and we'll see how it goes."
Ultimately, Philadelphia was able to put forth a strong effort, but lost by twelve points to the Denver Nuggets. With that said, the 76ers may not be at full strength for another week or so.
The NBA is not alone in its fight against the coronavirus. For 40 consecutive days, the United States has recorded 100,000 or more COVID-19 related hospitalizations. Late last week, America endured more than 4,000 COVID-19 related deaths in a single day for the first time. Making matters worse, COVID-19 vaccines are not being administered as quickly as many had hoped. More than 20 million COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed, but less than 10 million have been used. These unfortunate results have led many health officials to call for major changes to the COVID-19 vaccine distribution program.
"We need to acknowledge that it's not working," Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Foood and Drug Administration, said.
"We need to hit the reset and adopt a new strategy in trying to get that out to patients."
"The President-elect believes we must accelerate distribution of the vaccine while continuing to ensure the Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible. He supports releasing available doses immediately, and believes the government should stop holding back vaccine supply so we can get more shots in Americans' arms now," TJ Ducklo of the Biden transition team said.
"He will share additional details next week on how his Administration will begin releasing available doses when he assumes office on January 20th."
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