Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy said Thursday that politicians keep changing the rules about reopening the economy and that he’d “rather die from corona” than have to start a new business.
People should at least be given a choice as to whether they want to risk their health or their livelihood, Portnoy told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Portnoy put a video Wednesday on Twitter in which he asked why some health experts and politicians were now talking about lockdowns lasting until a cure is found for the coronavirus. (RELATED: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Goes After Barstool Sports Founder Dave Portnoy Over Labor Unions)
“Give me the choice then. Let me go outside and risk potentially getting sick or do I want to ruin my business? Because if it was me, I would rather die from corona than having to start over working 9 to 5 — how are you going to get find a job, how are you going to put money on your family’s table when the economy’s going to be gone?”
President Donald Trump established an economic task force in April with a mandate of balancing public safety with economic survival. He has encouraged the states to reopen as quickly as possible in order to alleviate the economic damage. But many states continue to stall, including Michigan where Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to be faced with angry anti-lockdown demonstrations on the front lawn of the state legislature building. (RELATED: President Donald Trump: ‘We Have To Get Our Country Back … It Was Artificially Closed’)
The entrepreneur said he hasn’t “gone outside in months” but senses that his home of New York City is “kind of at corona fatigue.” People, he says, need to be given a objective, a real timeline and not constantly have their expectations dashed for reopening the economy.
“Everybody is trying to do their best. Stay inside, social distance, flatten the curve, flatten the curve … I felt like there was a collective, positive vibe in the county: we are getting close, we are getting close we are getting closer. Every update seemed more positive.” But he said that consensus is gone.
Portnoy noted that if the coronavirus lockdown had of hit his business at an earlier point in its development, he would have lost everything. “If corona had happened at that moment, I would have been out of business. Everything I worked for, for 10 years, gone, flushed down the toilet. Barstool’s going to make it — but a lot of people aren’t.”
“I feel bad for people who aren’t given the choice. What’s worse, losing my business, my livelihood, or the chance of getting this disease, which we honestly know so little about? I feel like we’re no closer. That’s what I think the problem is.”