As the coronavirus outbreak batters the economy and businesses close, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Monday that plenty of seniors would be willing to sacrifice their lives in order to preserve the economy for their grandchildren.
“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? And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”
Patrick made the comments Monday night during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“So you’re basically saying that this disease could take your life, but that’s not the scariest thing for you,” Carlson said. “There’s something that would be worse than dying?”
“Yeah,” Patrick replied.
Earlier in the day President Donald Trump and his chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said that the economic cost of shutting down the country in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 may not be worth it.
“We can’t have the cure be worse than the problem,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing late Monday.
Kudlow concurred, saying in a CNBC interview: “At some point, you have to ask yourself if the shutdown is doing more harm than good.”
Public health officials have strongly urged that it is vital for people to stay at home and for businesses to close for weeks, perhaps months, in order to slow the spread of the deadly virus, which threatens to overwhelm the U.S. health-care system.
Social-media reaction to Patrick’s comments were swift and scathing. Here are some of the less profane reactions: