Texas Lieutenant Governor Slams Lockdowns: 'There Are More Important Things Than Living'

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is raising a few eyebrows over his justification for reopening the economy in the Lone Star State. After calling for the economy to reopen in late March despite a surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S., Patrick defended his opinion during a Monday appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, stating that "there are more important things than living" during the global pandemic.

"In Texas, we have 29 million people and we've lost 495. Every life is valuable, but 500 people out of 29 million and we're locked down, and we're crushing the average worker. We're crushing small business. We're crushing the markets. We're crushing this country," he said. "What I said when I was with you that night is there are more important things than living. And that's saving this country for my children and my grandchildren and saving this country for all of us. 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. We cannot endure this much longer.”"

During his Monday night appearance, Patrick also claimed that "Democrats have total control" and are "destroying our country" with weeks-long lockdowns that have already taken a heavy toll on the economy and the American workforce, the New York Post reports. He claimed that the lockdowns were based on "the wrong numbers, the wrong science," insisting that "it's time to get back to work" and that "Texas is taking the lead, and we're going to get rolling."

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His comments came just weeks after he suggested that social distancing restrictions and the toll they were taking on the economy were "worse than dying," stating that "those of us who are 70 plus" could "take care of ourselves" so that the economy could reopen. They also came just after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued three executive orders to begin the gradual reopening of the economy. Although schools in Texas will remain closed through the rest of the academic year, state parks started reopening on Monday, with retail businesses set to follow suit on Friday, according to The Texas Tribune.

Texas is just one of a number of states that are beginning to lift stay at home orders, despite concerns that doing so could lead to a new surge in cases. Both Florida and Georgia, as well as several other states, are set to begin lifting restriction on April 30, with the latter state's governor facing criticism for his decision to allow hair salons and bowling alleys to reopen at that time.