Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Texas lt. governor on reopening state: 'There are more important things than living'

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) called for the reopening of his state and the country late Monday, saying there are "more important things than living.”
Patrick said on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that he was “vindicated” after being criticized for saying in March that he thought “lots of grandparents” across the country would risk their survival to keep the country afloat economically.
“There are more important things than living, and that’s saving this country for my children and grandchildren and saving this country for all of us,” he said Monday. 
“I don’t want to die," he added. “Nobody wants to die, but man we gotta take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running.”
The Texas official stood by his March remarks and said the country “should not have been locked down.”
“I’m thankful that we are now beginning to open up Texas and other states because it’s long overdue,” Patrick said.
“We cannot endure this much longer,” he added. “Every month we stay closed, it’s going to take two to three months to rebuild.” 
Patrick also said that “every life is valuable,” but Texas should not be shut down because a small percentage of the population is dying.
Texas’s 2019 population estimate reached almost 29 million people. The coronavirus has infected 19,458 Texans, leading to 495 fatalities, according to the state health department.
Patrick was condemned by critics in March for suggesting on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that grandparents “don’t want the whole country sacrificed” and would rather keep the U.S. open for the good of the economy.
"I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me — I have six grandchildren — that what we all care about and what we love more than anything are those children, and I want to live smart and see through this, but I don't want the whole country to be sacrificed. And that's what I see,” he said at the time.
At least 22 million people in the U.S. have filed for unemployment benefits in the past four weeks, according to the Department of Labor, as efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus have led to shuttered businesses or reduced operations across the country. 
The Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement that Patrick and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) "would put Texans at-risk to enrich themselves and their stock portfolios."
"They would see our family members die to bail out Wall Street," Hinojosa said. "The lives of our families, our friends, and our communities have no dollar amount. Texas Republicans can no longer claim to be the pro-life party anymore.”

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