Trump claims college football players wouldn’t die of coronavirus as Big Ten postpones season

College officials are worried about the long-term effects of the virus, ESPN reported

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Tuesday 11 August 2020 15:48 EDT
Trump leaves briefing due to shooting near White House

Donald Trump says no college football players would “have a problem” if they contracted Covid-19 because they are “strong”, even as officials worry about long-term effects of the disease and the Big Ten postponed its season.

“These football players are very young, strong people, and physically, I mean they’re physically in extraordinary shape,” Mr Trump said during a radio interview on Tuesday. “So they’re not going to have a problem, you’re not going to see people, you know, could there be? Could it happen? But I doubt it.

“So I think football is making a tragic mistake,” he said of the college game.

Hours after Mr Trump, who is not a medical doctor and who often contradicts his top health experts, made the remark, the Big Ten became the first so-called “Power Five” conference to announce its members will not play football in the autumn.

The Mid-American and Mountain West conferences already have announced their members won’t play in the fall. Like the Big Ten, they intend to try next spring as the official US coronavirus death toll passed 163,500 people.

The Mountain West and Big Ten ignored Mr Trump’s Monday pleas for the college game to go on this fall.

His calls for college football come as ESPN has reported that at least five Big Ten athletes have come down with myocarditis, a condition that can cause heart damage — even cardiac arrest. It can develop after the coronavirus has cleared up.

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