Two public figures—one on the national level, the other local—are in the news for their blunt talk about the need to accept more deaths in the pandemic:
- Chris Christie: In an interview with Dana Bash of CNN, the former New Jersey governor said "we're going to destroy the American way of life" if people can't go back to work soon. "Of course, everybody wants to save every life they can, but the question is, towards what end, ultimately?" he said. "Are there ways that we can ... thread the middle here to allow that there are going to be deaths, and there are going to be deaths no matter what?"
- Elaborating: Asked about whether the public would accept reopening if it meant increased deaths, he said, "They're gonna have to." He likened the deaths to those of soldiers during WWII. "We sent our young men during World War Two over to Europe, out to the Pacific, knowing, knowing that many of them would not come home alive," he said. "And we decided to make that sacrifice because what we were standing up for was the American way of life. In the very same way now, we have to stand up for the American way of life."
- California official: In Antioch, a member of the local planning commission was even more blunt in his assessment. The world "has been introduced to a new phrase Herd Immunity which is a good one," wrote Ken Turnage II in a since-deleted Facebook post, per NBC News. "In my opinion we need to adapt a Herd Mentality. A herd gathers it ranks, it allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet its natural course in nature." After an uproar ensued, the Antioch City Council removed Turnage from his commission post.
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