While Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick became the public face of the “let’s get back to work” contingent during the coronavirus pandemic, his son Ryan K. Patrick, U.S. Attorney in the Houston region, has asked his staff handling one of the busiest criminal dockets in the country to work from home and prioritize safety.
The younger Patrick declined to comment on his 69-year-old father’s statement to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. The lieutenant governor spoke about sacrificing himself to salvage the economy and letting his grandchildren have “a shot at the American dream” after a short hiatus. The 41-year-old chief federal prosecutor asked workers and staff nearly two weeks ago to take computers home and come in only as needed. He has a skeleton crew operating at the courthouse each day, taking turns handling hearings for their colleagues.
“Our office is as fully teleworked as possible,” said the chief prosecutor in southeast Texas. “We learned a lot of good lessons after Hurricane Harvey,” he said. He noted that his office is still open and courts are still open.
Ted Imperato, deputy chief of the national security and public corruption unit at the Houston headquarters, said his boss has been on top of it, following public health directives for social distancing and flattening the curve from the beginning.
“The safety of the people that work for him has been his primary focus,” Imperato said. “Every conference call and every email I’ve gotten has been to check on your people, make sure they’re OK and to provide us necessary updates on conducting our business during this period of crisis.”
The message is to limit contact to the fullest extent. But that’s not what Patrick’s dad is pushing for in his message broadcast on Carlson’s nightly show Monday and now trending among critics under the hashtag #dieforthedow.
The elder Patrick, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, told Carlson Monday that though he was in the high-risk group as a senior citizen he was “all in,” adding that he was among those who’d say yes to the question: “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?”
“That doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that,” he told the Fox News anchor, mentioning his six grandchildren and his small business he’s hoping will survive. “I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me, I have six grandchildren, that what we all care about and what we love more than anything are those children. And I want to live smart and see through this, but I don’t want the whole country to be sacrificed.”
He explained that after hearing the president’s remarks at a press briefing that Americans can do more than one thing at a time — buoy the economy and also watch out for germs — he feels “the message is that let’s get back to work, let’s get back to living, let’s be smart about it, and nd those of us who are 70 plus, we’ll take care of ourselves, but don’t sacrifice the country. Don’t do that. Don’t ruin this great America.”
Carlson shot back with a pointed question. “You’re basically saying that this disease could take your life, but that’s not the scariest thing to you? there’s something that would be worse than dying?”
His response: “Yeah… I’m going to do everything I can to live…if i don’t I don’t.” If he gets sick, he’d deal with it, he said. He hoped he’d get better, but said, “It’s worth whatever it takes to save the country.
He went on to say, “Those of us who are 70-plus, we’ll take care of ourselves, but don’t sacrifice the country. Don’t do that. Don’t ruin this great American dream.”
The father and son’s have backed one another’s political journeys. The son, a former state district judge, administered his father’s oath of office and the father spoke at his son’s September 2018 investiture, also attended by the wife and three children of the then-new top federal prosecutor in east Texas.
The Houston Forum
Source : chron.com