Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick raised eyebrows with his suggestion that he country get back to work and ignore medical advice to stay home.
Patrick was interviewed by Tucker Carlson on the FOX News Channel Monday night. The 69-year-old conservative Republican is considered to be most at risk if he became infected by the coronavirus. But he said he would rather die than leave the economy in shambles.
He called this a time for senior citizens to sacrifice.
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“Let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to living. Let’s be smart about it and those of us who are 70 plus, we’ll take care of ourselves. But don’t sacrifice the country. Don’t do that. Don’t ruin this great American dream,” he said.
“So you’re saying that this disease could take your life but that’s not the scariest thing to you? There’s something that would be worse than dying?” Carleson asked.
“Yeah,” Patrick replied.
The lieutenant governor said he’s heard from elderly constituents who aren’t that concerned about the coronavirus and are more worried about losing the economy and potentially the future of the country for their grandchildren.
He said if he gets sick, he’ll try to get better but if he doesn’t, he doesn’t.
Medical officials at both the local and federal level have said a longer period of isolation and quarantine is needed to quell the growing number of COVID-19 cases.
The White House had a different tone Monday. President Donald Trump expressed an urgency to get people back to work.
Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday the Centers for Disease Control will re-evaluate the guidelines on Monday, possibly allowing people who have been exposed to the virus to go back to work as long as they wear a mask.