"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough criticized conservatives who want to "euthanize" the elderly in order to protect the American economy, calling Democrats the "party of life right now."
"Right now, these conservatives are making Democrats, who are pro-choice, actually look more pro-life," Scarborough said Thursday morning. "Because they are only worried about the unborn. It is the born — it is the weakest among us, it is senior citizens — who they are ready to euthanize, because they want Boeing's corporate earnings to not dip too low."
Scarborough pointed out that many of the elderly Americans being "abandoned" by his former Republican Party were veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He also highlighted a recent New York Times story, which reported that one of Donald Trump's advisers told the president to allow senior citizens to get infected, because they are "going to die anyway" and "cost a lot of money."
The MSNBC host added that Republican politicians feel this way, because "they want to make sure that people that own businesses in their district or in their states will keep giving them campaign contributions."
A number of prominent conservative voices have publicly argued that elderly Americans should risk dying of complications from the coronavirus in order to protect the economy.
Dan Patrick, the Republican lieutenant governor of Texas, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson Monday night that "no one reached out to me and said, 'As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?' And if that's the exchange, I'm all in."
"What we're living in now, this circumstance as we try to beat this virus, is not sustainable — that the utter collapse of the country's economy, which many think will happen if this goes on much longer, is an intolerable result," Fox News analyst Brit Hume told Carlson the following evening. "And that — [Patrick] is saying, for his own part, that he'd be willing to take a risk of getting the disease if that's what it took to allow the economy to move forward. And he said that because he's late in life, you know, that he would be perhaps more willing then he might've been at a younger age, which seems to me to be an entirely reasonable viewpoint."
Hume later suggested that anyone who disagrees does so because they dislike Trump.
Glenn Beck of BlazeTV made a similar argument, telling his viewers Tuesday that older Americans should get back to work to "keep this economy going and working," adding that "even if we all get sick, I'd rather die than kill the country."
Scarborough's observation about pro-life Republicans came as the Republican Party has capitalized on the pandemic to try to block abortion rights. Republican governors in Maryland, Ohio and Texas have attempted to block abortions by claiming that they are a "nonessential" medical procedure (most abortions do not take place in hospitals, and therefore would not interfere with the treatment of COVID-19 patients) or that abortions use up crucial medical supplies. (Trump refuses to invoke his presidential powers to compel medical supply companies to manufacture necessary products.) Congressional Republicans also delayed the stimulus bill earlier this month over concerns that it did not bar the use of federal funds for abortion.