Republican Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made his case for putting America “back to work” despite the risk the coronavirus epidemic poses to older Americans, including himself.
Patrick’s Monday night appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” came about because of a “very different” text he sent Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“I don’t pretend to be speaking for everyone 70 plus, but I think there were lots of grandparents out there who would agree with me that I want my grandchildren to live in the America I did,” Patrick told Carlson in the text. “I want them to have a shot at the American Dream but right now this virus which all the experts say that 98% of all people will survive is killing our country in another way. It could bring about a total economic collapse and potentially a collapse of our society. So I say let’s give this a few more days or weeks but after that, let’s go back to work and go back to living. Those who want to shelter in place can still do so, but we can’t live with this uncertainty.”
Appearing on the show during a time of national debate about how far to extend shutdowns and social distancing and still maintain some semblance of an economy, the Texas lieutenant governor explained his view that the risks are well worth the alternative:
“I am living smart, listening to the president, the CDC guidelines like all people should, but I am not living in fear of COVID-19,” Patrick said, acknowledging that he is in the “high risk” group. “What I’m living in fear of is what’s happening in 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? And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”
Explaining that he has six grandchildren and that his position doesn’t make him any more “noble or brave” than anyone else, Patrick contended that he doesn’t “want the whole country to be sacrificed.”
“And that’s what I see,” he said. “I’ve talked to hundreds of people just in the last week and making calls all the time and everyone says pretty much the same thing, that we can’t lose our whole country. We are having an economic collapse.” (RELATED: ‘The Most Hopeful Thing I Have Heard’: Adam Carolla Impresses Tucker With Philosophical Take On Coronavirus Crisis)
“So my message is that let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to living,” Patrick said. “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.”
When asked whether he meant that there are things “worse than dying,” Patrick agreed, saying, “I’m not trying to think of it in any kind of morbid way, but I’m just saying that we’ve got a choice here, and we are 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.”