Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has sparked widespread criticism for remarks on Fox News in which he encouraged people to “get back to work” even if it leads to additional coronavirus-related deaths among elderly people.
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“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 told host Tucker Carlson. “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”
He went on to reference his own grandchildren, saying that he believes other grandparents do not “want the whole country to be sacrificed” just so they could continue living.
Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, spoke out via Twitter against an agenda many critics have said would be tantamount to #GOPDeathPanels.
“This kind of numbnuttery will kill people in Texas,” O’Rourke wrote. “Young as well as old.”
The former 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate went on to call for “a state-wide shelter in place order to stop the spread of coronavirus and save hundreds of thousands of lives.”
In the interview, Patrick explained his controversial stance.
“If I get sick, I’ll go and try to get better, but if I don’t, I don’t,” he said. “And I’m not trying to think of any kind of morbid way, Tucker. I’m just saying that we’ve got a choice here and we’re going to be in a total collapse, recession, depression, collapse in our society if this goes on another several months, there won’t be any jobs to come back to for many people.”