MLB Umpire Joe West Floats COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory, Won’t Opt Out of Season

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Longtime MLB umpire Joe West is 67 years old and has a history of high blood pressure, but he is not letting that stop him from doing his job for the upcoming 2020 MLB season. He’s considered by MLB to be a high-risk person for contracting COVID-19, thus entitling him to the choice to sit out the year while still getting paid.

West is choosing to not sit out the season, in part because he doesn’t seem to believe that coronavirus can kill healthy people.

“[MLB deput commissioner Dan Halem] said, ‘According to our doctors, you’re high-risk.’ I said, ‘Look, most of these people that they’re reporting are dying are not healthy to begin with,’” West told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

West also added: “I don’t believe in my heart that all these deaths have been from the coronavirus. I believe it may have contributed to some of the deaths.”

It should be noted that West lives in Florida that has seen cases surge and records being set daily for new cases of COVID-19.

“I’ve lost 25 pounds over the winter,” West told Rosenthal. “I’m playing golf every day in the heat. I’m fine. I’m not going to back down now.”

“If this game hasn’t gotten me by now, no virus is going to get me,” West told Rosenthal. “I’ve weathered a bunch of storms in my life. I’ll weather another one.”