- Gage Skidmore
- Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
In a CNN interview Tuesday, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg called out Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for his "callous" statement that elderly people should be willing to die of COVID-19 to keep the economy strong.
“It’s easy for someone of power and privilege to say something so callous,” Nirenberg said. "What Dan Patrick is coming to learn is something that most Americans have known for a long time. Which is, a single health event can become catastrophic."
Nirenberg added: “I’m not willing to sacrifice anyone of my residents, let alone those workers on the front lines of this battle, the health care workers, or the 100,000-plus veterans in this community who are older Americans, who have served this country. It’s time that we step up and serve them.”
"It is easy for someone of power and privilege to say something so callous," San Antonio Mayor @Ron_Nirenberg says in response to TX Gov. Dan Patrick saying that he is "not living in fear" from coronavirus and is ready to lift social distancing measures. https://t.co/HquY6BSUyl pic.twitter.com/AY8I7luGZl— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) March 24, 2020
Nirenberg's harsh words for Patrick come after the lieutenant governor told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that elderly people should be willing to risk death during the pandemic by letting younger Americans keep working and spending.
"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 Americans love for your children and grandchildren?" said Patrick, 70. "And if that's the exchange, I'm all in."
Patrick, the architect of Texas' failed anti-transgender bathroom bill, drew widespread condemnation for the remarks from Democratic politicians and health officials.
A former right-wing radio host, Patrick has been a font of divisive and outrageous public pronouncements during his time in office. Among his recent claims: doors rather than guns are the cause of school shootings and that drug gangs would be decapitating people in the streets of El Paso if not for the border wall.
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.