Make the old risk COVID-19? Re­mark prompts back­lash

The Kansas City Star - - Stay Connected - BY MOLLY HEN­NESSY-FISKE Los An­ge­les Times

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.

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