Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals announced Monday that Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day on July 23.

Why it matters: Fauci, who the team called a "Nats super-fan," is the nation's top infectious diseases expert and has been one of the most trusted voices in America during the coronavirus pandemic. He has recently faced attacks from members of the Trump administration who have sought to discredit him.

What they're saying: "Dr. 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," the Nationals said in a statement.

Go deeper ... Fauci on who to trust amid coronavirus: "Stick with respected medical authorities"

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Jul 24, 2020 - Sports

In photos: Opening Day 2020

Yankee players holding a black ribbon during the national anthem to show their support for racial justice. Photo: Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The MLB finally returned to the field for Opening Day on Thursday as the New York Yankees face off against the Washington Nationals, the defending World Series champions, in the District of Columbia.

Why it matters: Thursday's game sets off what's sure to be a historic season against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. The season was kicked off by a ceremonial first pitch thrown by the country's leading infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci.

12 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Fear of voting

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.0% margin of error for the total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This could pose a significant disadvantage for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates in November if the pattern holds — especially in states where high infection rates persist, or where there are significant hurdles to mail-in, absentee or early voting.

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.