On Monday, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick essentially said that the economic well-being of the country was more important than the lives of older people. The Republican politician was riffing on a theme that President Donald Trump has been hammering at this week, framing the dilemma posed by the coronavirus as either save the entire U.S. economy or tolerate a few more deaths. “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” Trump tweeted Sunday.Or as Patrick put it: “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 and grandchildren?'” He continued, “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”By implying this is primarily an older person’s problem, we ignore the real risks to younger people, and we reinforce the ageism that already persists in our society.The implication of Patrick’s comments was that older people are a burden on society and should be willing to risk being infected by COVID-19 to make sure that all other Americans are able to patronize bars, restaurants and stores. “Let’s get back to work,” said Patrick,


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