Tucker Questions Severity Of Shutdown Strategy: What If ‘We’d Adopted A More Conventional Response To This Epidemic?’

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson wondered what would have happened had the United States employed “a more conventional response” to the coronavirus pandemic than the economically costly shutdowns Americans are currently experiencing during his Thursday night monologue on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

The Fox News host lamented the historically unsurpassed “economic effect the coronavirus shutdowns have had in America,” losses on a scale that “hasn’t quite registered yet.”


“Our leaders still seem far more afraid of a virus that probably kills fewer than 1% of those infected than the prospect of a third of all Americans losing their jobs,” said Carlson. “We don’t judge anyone for that. There is something uniquely panic inducing about infectious disease. The fear of it is atavistic, it’s in our bones, we were born with it. Still, this is a moment, it will pass. A year from now, what will seem scarier? The Chinese coronavirus or the economic devastation it wrought? It’s worth thinking about that as we move forward. But we can’t. Thinking about things like that has been cast as a kind of moral crime by our opinion making class.”

The Daily Caller co-founder referenced his interview last week with Republican Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who said the U.S. should “give [shutdowns] 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.”

“Almost immediately the media outrage machine begin belching smoke and making loud noises,” Carlson said, noting the media reaction to Patrick’s words was “as if he was trying to kill the elderly to boost Exxon share prices.”

“In an environment like this one where reactive emotionally incontinent people have the loudest megaphones, it’s nearly impossible to see clearly or make wise decisions,” said Carlson. “That is true of everyone, in particularly everyone in power, even our most impressive and thoughtful officials.”

The Fox News host played a clip of Dr. Anthony Fauci saying restrictions would end “when it goes down to essentially no new cases, no deaths.”

“So it will be fixed when we have no new cases and no deaths,” Carlson said. “How long will that be? Almost nobody thought to ask. ‘We’ve got to beat this disease. Details are irrelevant! Cost is no object!’ That is the feeling in Washington right now and certainly in the press corps that covers it.” (RELATED: Brit Hume Has A Theory About Why Some People Don’t Want The Economy Restarted)

“What would’ve happened, for example, if we’d adopted a more conventional response to this epidemic?” Carlson asked rhetorically. “What if we’d asked the elderly and immunocompromised and anyone else facing statistically higher rates of risk to stay inside, cloistered away? And then at the same time allow the rest of the population to use informed common sense and continue to work? What if we’d done that a month ago? Would the death rate today be much higher than it is now? Maybe, maybe not. We don’t know. But it’s clearly a conversation we should’ve had before we locked the entire country down and put 10 million people out of work.”

Instead, Carlson contended, “we outsourced the decision to public health officials,” a decision with a “strange irony” given the fact that those same heath officials have “been thoroughly discredited.”

“At the same time though, we are being asked to trust these same people without hesitation and for the most part we are doing that,” he said. “In other words, the experts failed, yet the experts now have more power than ever before. It’s bewildering.”