Prediction models for the new coronavirus say that an uncontained spread in the United States could mean over 1 million or even more than 2 million deaths as the health care system becomes overwhelmed.
Undaunted, Fox News personalities have plowed ahead in recent days in adopting a position that “the cure is worse than the disease” when it comes to locking down the economy in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus — as if a decline in the stock market and the need for large government rescue packages are worse than the prospect of mass death and suffering. (It is unclear and unsaid how the economy could even function with social distancing while tens of millions of Americans get grievously ill, and millions of them die.)
Now, they’re presenting the idea of letting the virus running rampant in order to keep businesses going — and the deaths that would result — as somehow being a compromise position.
On the Monday night edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, the eponymous host kicked things off by contrasting the epidemiologists and the economists as two rival groups with differing perspectives — and of course, we ought not listen too much to one or the other.
“But, the truth is you can't just let epidemiologists run a country of 320 million people just as you would never turn America over to a team of economists,” Carlson said. “Not because they are bad people, they are mostly good people, but they are specialists and their range of vision is too narrow.”
Next up in the program, Carlson hosted Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who put forward his own modest proposal that older people like himself — he will turn 70 years old next week, and is a grandfather of six — should be willing to risk their own lives to restore the American economy for their grandchildren.
Closing out the interview, Carlson told Patrick: “I'm grateful you came on tonight. We needed to hear that perspective, also because it's a conversation we should have.”
And then Tuesday morning on Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade and Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel also presented these ideas as constituting a middle path:
And this line of thinking is continuing into Fox’s purported “news”-side coverage, with anchor Ed Henry asking a medical expert: “Now, every life matters and you don't want to minimize any of them, but when the mortality rate is that low, what is the balance?”