When the pandemic began its rampage through America in March, one might have wondered which American or Americans would be most zealously protected from the coronavirus. The obvious answer, of course, would have been the President of the United States. After all, the nation’s chief executive is the only person with an entire government department dedicated to his protection. Keeping the head of state safe from threats, be they an assassin’s bullets or a deadly virus, is a national security priority. Certainly the Secret Service and White House medical staff would do everything necessary to keep him safe.
That would have been a sensible answer, but it would have been wrong. As it turned out the most protected people in America were LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, and all the other men and women who played in the NBA and WNBA bubbles. (Hat tip to the National Hockey League as well, which operated a successful bubble in Canada.)
Why did these sports leagues succeed where our national security apparatus miserably failed? The answer is simple: they actually tried.