‘There are more important things than living,’ says Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on reopening Texas

by | Apr 21, 2020 | Coronavirus, Policy

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick returned to Fox News on Monday to double down on comments he made last month on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Carlson reinvited Patrick to ask him if he felt “vindicated” for predicting the U.S. economy would suffer if businesses remained closed due to social distancing orders. 

At the time, Patrick said the elderly, including himself, should be willing to get sick and possibly die to save the economy. 

Now, as some southern states begin planning for the reopening of businesses as early as this week and next month, Patrick says these steps are “long overdue.”

“There are more important things than living … I don’t want to die, nobody wants to die but man, we’ve got to take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running,” Patrick told Tucker.

In the same interview, Patrick said the “wrong numbers” and “wrong science” have been informing leaders about how bad the pandemic will be and what the adequate response should be. To prove his point, Patrick went on to downplay the number of growing fatalities in Texas.

“In Texas we have 29 million people, we’ve lost 495  — every life is valuable — but 500 people out of 29 million,” Patrick said.

Last week, Patrick was the top Texas official to be selected by Gov. Greg Abbott to help lead the newly formed “Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas,” a task force that will study and make recommendations about opening Texas businesses — and which also happens to be packed with donors to Abbott’s campaigns. 

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

fernando@texassignal.com | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at fernando@texassignal.com

Are you tired of Texas Republicans pushing big lies and trying to steal your vote? So are we, that’s why we’re fighting back against the right-wing lie machine. Our commitment to ethical, fact-based journalism is vital to our democracy, and we can’t do it without you. Consider donating today to help us stay in this fight.

Continue Reading

Early Voting In Austin Starts

Early Voting In Austin Starts

Texas isn't quite done with election season yet. Early voting started today in Austin for several important runoff races. In the mayor's race, State Representative Celia Israel faces former mayor and state senator Kirk Watson. Israel came in first in the November...

Anti-Abortion Group Sues FDA Over Abortion Pill

Anti-Abortion Group Sues FDA Over Abortion Pill

One of the key groups behind the overturning of Roe v. Wade has filed another anti-abortion lawsuit, this one in Texas. Alliance Defending Freedom sued the FDA last week to reverse federal approval of mifepristone, a medication that can terminate an early pregnancy....