TV and radio personality Glenn Beck is urging older Americans to return to work to keep the economy going despite the coronavirus infection risks.
Younger people, he said, could stay home to protect themselves from the virus that causes COVID-19 while older people ― who the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says are more prone to the most serious cases ― should keep working.
“I would rather have my children stay home and all of us who are over 50 go in and keep this economy going and working,” he said in comments posted online by Media Matters. “Even if we all get sick, I’d rather die than kill the country.”
Beck’s comments came after he said he was concerned that Democrats would “jam down” the Green New Deal in economic stimulus legislation while Americans are home “panicked” over COVID-19.
Sending older people to work, he seemed to imply, would prevent that legislation.
“It’s not the economy that’s dying,” he said. “It’s the country.”
Beck was among the numerous voices on the right opposed to the Affordable Care Act a decade ago, claiming it would lead to “death panels” that would ration care to determine who gets lifesaving treatment and who doesn’t.
At the time, he argued nature or market forces should kill older people instead.
“I would rather have nature off grandma, you know?” he said in 2010. “I’d rather, I’d rather have the free market off grandma because then nobody is controlling it.”
While the “death panels” never appeared, Beck now seems to be making a more direct appeal to both nature and markets to “off grandma.”
His latest call echoed comments by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who this week said he’s “all in” on reopening businesses even if it means he could die as a result of infection.
Patrick claimed “lots of grandparents” agreed with him.
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