Make the old risk COVID-19? Remark prompts backlash
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick faced a backlash Tuesday for suggesting that fellow seniors should risk their health for the sake of the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let’s get back to living,” Patrick, a tea party Republican stalwart and longtime ally of President Donald Trump, told Fox’s Tucker Carlson late Monday, defending the president’s push to reopen businesses in a matter of weeks despite dire warnings from public health officials.
“Those of us who are 70-plus, we’ll take care of ourselves, but don’t sacrifice the country,” said Patrick, who turns 70 next week.
Patrick said he’s “not living in fear of COVID-19.
What I’m living in fear of is what’s happening to this 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. “If that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”
Patrick noted, as the president has, that COVID-19 has yet to reach the mortality rate in the U.S. that it has in other countries.
“I think we can get back to work,” he said.
Patrick’s comments became fodder for memes on social media Tuesday about sacrificing the elderly during a pandemic. #NotDying4WallStreet started trending on Twitter. Democrats in Texas and other states were quick to condemn him.