Former Fox News host Glenn Beck is joining the chorus of right-wing pundits pushing President Donald Trump to cut the social distancing restrictions off before they have had a chance to minimize the coronavirus carnage.
Telling listeners of his radio show on Tuesday that he wanted to have “frank conversation” with them, Beck openly acknowledged that such action could end up killing millions of Americans, especially older ones like him.
“I mean, I’m in the danger zone. I’m right at the edge, I’m 56,” he said. “In Italy they’re saying if you’re sick and you’re 60, don’t even come in. So I’m in the danger zone.”
“I would rather have my children stay home and all of us who are over 50 go in and keep this economy going and working,” Beck added. “Even if we all get sick, I would rather die than kill the country. Because it’s not the economy that’s dying, it’s the country.”
Beck’s comments echoed those of Trump, who said in a Fox News “town hall” earlier in the day that he plans to have the economy back up and running by Easter against the advice of medical professionals. “If we lose those companies, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs, millions of jobs,” Trump said. “The faster we go back, the better it’s going to be.”
Back in the early days of the Obama administration, Beck was among those on the right who followed Sarah Palin by accusing Democrats of wanting to institute “death panels” with the Affordable Care Act to deny care to elderly citizens.
“I believe it to be true, but that’s quite a statement,” Beck said in 2009, adding, “I believe she at least should be listened to and you should question, ‘Is it evil?’”
That same year, Beck argued against those so-called “death panels” by saying, “We care about the elderly.” He added, “We value life in this country and when you start devaluing life, then you’re in trouble.”