GOP congressman: Dying from virus is 'lesser of two evils' if we can save economy

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Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) said lawmakers like him need to 'put on our big boy and big girl pants' and end safety measures even as the virus continues to spread.

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) said Tuesday that Americans need to get back to work immediately, even if it means significantly increasing the spread of COVID-19.

In an interview with an Indianapolis radio station, Hollingsworth acknowledged that ending social distancing could result in major public health harms and "loss of life," but he said it was better than letting the economy fall apart.

"It is policymakers' decision to put on our big boy and big girl pants and say it is the lesser of these two evils," he urged.

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From his WIBC interview:

REP. TREY HOLLINGSWORTH: There is no zero-harm choice here. We are going to have look Americans in the eye and say, "We are making the best decisions for the most Americans possible," and the answer to that is unequivocally to get Americans back to work, to get Americans back to their businesses.

 

The heartbreaking stories I have heard over the last couple of weeks only have reinforced the fact that we do have a biological challenge in this problem. But the economic challenge is growing and much, much larger, that we face today because of the poor decisions, and frankly, the panic that has set in.

 

We have got to get Americans back to where they want to be: back in the schools, back at work, back in churches, and frankly, back in the labs to continue to work on the biological problem while we fix the economic problem.

 

HOST TONY KATZ: So here's what's going to get said: What's going to be said is that you sir are anti-science, you sir won't listen to Dr. Fauci or Dr. Birx ... you're gonna get people killed, Congressman Hollingsworth. How do you respond to those people?

 

HOLLINGSWORTH: Here's what I say: There is no zero-harm choice here. Both of these decisions will lead to harm for individuals, whether that's dramatic economic harm or or whether that's the loss of life. But it is always the American government's position to say, in the choice between the loss of our way of life as Americans and the loss of life of American lives, we have to always choose the latter.

 

And this is what I push back on, by these people that say science should govern all of this. Certainly science is telling us where this disease will progress and how it will progress over time. Certainly the social sciences are telling us the economic disaster that is occurring: down 20% this quarter alone, our GDP is expected to be.

 

It is policymakers' decision to put on our big boy and big girl pants and say, This is the lesser of these two evils. And it is not zero evil, but it is the lesser of these evils, and we intend to move forward in that direction. That is our responsibility, and to abdicate that is to insult the Americans that voted us into office.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.