Baseball is Back: Top Stories, Sports and Business News — July 23

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From the return of baseball to an update on the coronavirus, here are the top business and sports stories on Thursday, July 23.

Baseball Returns

The 2020 Major League Baseball season was originally scheduled to start on March 26 but the coronavirus pandemic interrupted those plans.

Nearly four months later, on Thursday, July 23, the MLB is ready to start its 2020 season. The Washington Nationals will host the New York Yankees for the league’s first game of the year. Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Also on schedule for Thursday night is the Dodgers hosting the San Francisco Giants. Eager baseball fans can tune in to ESPN for the live broadcasts of these games.

Watch related: Daily Cover: Baseball Has Returned When We Need It Most

Daily Coronavirus Update

There are 15.2 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 624,000 deaths. The U.S. has four million cases with over 143,000 deaths. 69,000 cases were reported nationwide on Wednesday. There were 1,130 deaths recorded Wednesday, which marks the deadliest day since May 29.

California recorded 12,000 cases and 155 deaths Wednesday. The state’s total—which is currently at 422,000—has surpassed the total of New York, which was the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the U.S. at the beginning of the pandemic.

TheStreet’s Katherine Ross spoke to Dr. William Lang, a medical director at World Clinic and a former White House physician, about the vaccine development process. Ross asked whether or not the speed of the development of the vaccine should concern the average American. While the flu and the coronavirus are not directly relatable, Dr. Lang said that America produces new flu vaccines fairly quickly every year, and while it is not a direct comparison, not all of this technology is as brand new as we might assume.

Lang said that he believes realistically that we could see one of these vaccines get approved sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. He pointed specifically to the middle of the fourth quarter but said it could be earlier. That would mean that a substantial number of the population could start receiving vaccines by the first quarter. He specifically said that there could be a “substantial” reopening by the end of the first quarter.

“I think we’re going to have a good spring,” he said.

Watch related: Coronavirus Update: Chipotle's Earnings how Digital Sales, Delivery Up

NBA and AB InBev

The National Basketball Association and Anheuser-Busch announced a new partnership that makes Michelob Ultra the official beer of the NBA.

Ricardo Marques, Vice President of Michelob Ultra said, “Combining athleticism with enjoyment is what defines Michelob ULTRA, and that's why we are incredibly honored to partner with the NBA and celebrate this historic return of basketball.”

Part of this sponsorship is Michelob ULTRA Courtside which, according to the press release, is "a digital experience that allows fans to appear virtually inside the arena and share in the excitement of the game.” 

Anheuser-Busch InBev  (BUD) - Get Report is trading around $54 a share, up very slightly in intraday trading on Thursday. The stock is up over 30% in the past three months, and this could be due to the release of its hard seltzer product, Bud Light seltzer and Bon & Viv and also Natural Light Seltzer. And it could also be due to the rise in alcohol sales that we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic.

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