Ben Shapiro is in trouble with grandma.
Appearing on The Rubin Report yesterday, the conservative social media personality waxed philosophic about the factors states will weigh as they decide whether and how to lift restrictions meant to slow the spread of coronavirus.
In his opinion, elderly people dying of coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, should not be high among those factors. Shapiro takes the view that they’ve got one foot in the grave anyway, so who cares.
“Nobody just wants to say the obvious truth, which is that we’re all making actuarial deductions about what are the costs in terms of how many human lives, how many years of life…” Shapiro said.
“If somebody who is 81 dies of COVID-19, that is not the same thing as somebody who is 30 dying of COVID-19. I mean, if this were killing children, everyone would be in lockdown forever.”
“…If grandma dies in a nursing home at age 81, that’s tragic and it’s terrible, also the life expectancy in the United States is 80, so that is not the same thing.”
“In moral terms, you want to save every life you can, at the same time, to pretend that it is of the same calculation, the age of the person, no public policy acts like that, not a single public policy in America acts like that,” Shapiro said with all the bravado of a lawyer who never studied criminal law.
People were deeply concerned for Shapiro’s elderly relatives.
Many called Shapiro a hypocrite. He’s both pro-life (anti-choice) and has previously railed against the “death panels” he promised the Affordable Care Act would usher in. Neither position is exactly consistent with being all good with octogenarians dying from coronavirus.
“Sounds like Ben’s in favor of death panels,” remarked Parker Molloy, editor-at-large for Media Matters for America, a liberal media watchdog group whose researcher, Jason Campbell, tweeted the footage.
Some pointed out that Shapiro repeating a conservative talking point isn’t exactly a surprise.
“‘Old people dying scared and alone is totes fine if it fixes the economy since everyone dies’ is a take I expected from Ben Shapiro,” said one.
To date, the coronavirus has infected one million Americans and killed 60,000, among them infants, children, and thousands of other people under the age of 80.