Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who previously suggested that the elderly people should be willing to die to save the economy, and said “there are more important things than living,” is now calling for fans at sporting events this year despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“Long before I entered politics, I was a TV and radio sportscaster,” Patrick wrote Friday in the Dallas Morning News. “I understand that the fans are as much a part of the game as the players, and there is no reason they can’t attend the games when they begin again. I don’t believe Anthony Fauci should anoint himself as the commissioner of sports and tell the owners, players and fans what to do.”
Patrick went on to suggest various safety measures that could be adopted — including taking fans’ temperatures, requiring them to wear masks, limiting stadium occupancy to 30 percent, closing concessions early, and speeding up zambonis in hockey and instant replays in football.
“If fans are going to attend games this year, they are going to have to give up a little to do so,” Patrick wrote. “These are my ideas, and I welcome input from fans and teams to make my plan even better. Here’s the bottom line — let’s end all this talk about playing in empty stadiums. Let the games begin with fans in the seats.”
On Thursday, two weeks after the state began reopening, Texas reported its highest daily totals thus far for new COVID-19 deaths and cases.
In an interview with the New York Times last month, Fauci suggested that some sports leagues may have to skip this season.
“I would love to be able to have all sports back,” said Fauci, a former star basketball player. “As a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we’re not ready for that yet.”