Piggybacking on President Donald Trump’s desire to quickly end social distancing restrictions to restart the U.S. economy, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggested Monday that senior citizens would be willing to sacrifice their lives to the new coronavirus in order to save the economy for their kids and grandchildren.
With the president and many of his allies (including several Fox News hosts) currently pushing to reject health experts’ advice on slowing the spread of the virus so the economy can be restarted in a matter of weeks, Fox News host Tucker Carlson kicked off his Monday night show by hearing from “both sides” of the issue.
After hosting a doctor who noted that he couldn’t give definitive answers on how long quarantines and social distancing policies needed to stay in effect in order to “flatten the curve,” Carlson turned to Patrick, who had recently texted the Fox host to explain why he thought all Americans should quickly get back to work.
“I don’t pretend to be speaking for everyone 70-plus,” Patrick’s text read. “But I think there are lots of grandparents out there who would agree with me that I want my grandchildren to live in the America I did.”
“I want them to have a shot at the American Dream but right now there’s a virus which all the experts say that 98 percent of all people will survive... is killing our country in another way,” the text continued. “It could bring about a total economic collapse and potentially a collapse of our society. So I say let’s give this a few more days or weeks but after that, let’s go back to work and go back to living. Those we want to shelter in place can still do so but we can’t live with uncertainty.”
The Texas Republican told Carlson that while at 70 he is in the greatest risk pool for the virus, he’s not living in fear of COVID-19 but rather is scared of “what’s happening to the country.”
“No one reached out to me and said as a senior citizen, ‘Are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick declared. “And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.”
Adding that “there are lots of grandparents” who would make the same choice because “they don’t want the whole country sacrificed,” Patrick said that, as a small businessman, his “heart is lifted” by the president’s recent pivot.
“So my message is that let’s get back to work,” he continued. “Let’s get back to living and be smart about it and those of us who are 70 plus, we will take care of ourselves but don’t sacrifice the country. Don’t do that.”
Patrick concluded by insisting that the “biggest gift” grandparents can give their grandkids is “the legacy of our country,” all while wondering why we need to “shut down the whole country” since the “mortality rate is so low.”
As of publication, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center, there were 43,901 coronavirus cases confirmed in the United States, resulting in 557 deaths. Monday was also the first day the U.S. reported more than 100 deaths in a single day.