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In late March — the last time that Republican leaders attempted an early opening of the economy at the potential expense of American lives — Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick caught the nation’s attention when he told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that he, and many grandparents like him, would be willing to die from the coronavirus “in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren.” Almost a month later — with governors throughout the country preparing to reopen without the safety that adequate levels of testing would provide — Patrick returned to Carlson’s show this week to reiterate his macabre pursuit of a V-shaped economic recovery.
“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 late on Monday. “I don’t want to die. 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.”
While Texas governor Greg Abbott has announced that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year, his “statewide strike force” announced on Friday is determining how to reopen the Lone Star economy while effectively flying blind. Though the population of Texas is close to 29 million people, the state has only conducted 169,536 tests as of Friday.