Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick suggested to Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday night that some senior citizens would be willing to sacrifice their lives to the new coronavirus in order to save the economy for their kids and grandchildren.
Patrick’s claim came hours after President Trump said in a White House coronavirus press briefing that he is considering scaling back steps to constrain the spread of the coronavirus in the next week or two because of concerns that the impact on the economy has become too severe. Trump said that at some point soon the damage being done to the economy could be worse than the threat of the virus spreading further.
Carlson on Monday night highlighted a recent text he received from Patrick explaining 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.”
Patrick 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 said. “And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.”
Patrick added 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 ended 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.”
There are currently 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.
Tx Lt Gov Dan Patrick says grandparents would be willing to die to save the economy for their grandchildren pic.twitter.com/wC3Ngvtsbj
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) March 24, 2020