As the health crisis continues to worsen across the United States in the face of a global pandemic, President Donald Trump and his allies are hinting at a willingness to scale back crucial social distancing efforts designed to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus.
Health experts nearly unanimously agree that the 15-day period of isolation touted by the Trump administration isn't sufficient enough to curb infections.
But the economy is one of Trump's main talking points in favor of his reelection. With markets tanking and unemployment skyrocketing as businesses close their doors, Trump is reportedly frustrated that efforts to keep people alive are interfering with economic growth.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick apparently shares that frustration. Patrick claimed in a recent Fox News interview that there are numerous grandparents and seniors who would be willing to die in order to preserve the economy for their grandchildren.
"No one reached out to me and said, 'as a senior citizen are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children or grandchildren?' And if that's the exchange, I'm all in."
"And that doesn't make me noble or brave or anything like that, 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."
He continued with a call to Americans to "get back to work, get back to living."
People were deeply unsettled by Patrick's apparent willingness to "kill grandma" to shore up the economy.
Patrick said this on the night of the Affordable Care Act's tenth anniversary.
The ACA was signed into law by former President Barack Obama. During Obama's 2008 campaign, Republicans falsely claimed that "death panels" would be created, where seniors would have to make their case in front of doctors who would ultimately decide whether they lived or died.
Who would have thought Republicans would begin endorsing similar panels ten years later?