A Texas republican has called for the reopening of his state and an end to lockdown, despite expert advice to the contrary.

Dan Patrick told Fox News that there are "more important things than living” and that he was “vindicated” after being criticised for saying in March that he thought “lots of grandparents” across the country would risk their survival to keep the economy moving.

He said:

There are more important things than living, and that’s saving this country for my children and grandchildren and saving this country for all of us.

I don’t want to die.

Nobody wants to die, but man we gotta take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running.

The Texas official also said that the country “should not have been locked down”, despite the overwhelming consensus among experts that this is a vital step to stop the spread of coronavirus.

He added:

We cannot endure this much longer.

Every month we stay closed, it’s going to take two to three months to rebuild.

Patrick, who describes himself as “pro-life” and opposes abortion, also said that “every life is valuable”. But it’s understandable that people might feel a bit confused by him saying this when what he’s advocating for will likely cost lives.

As of today, there are 19,458 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Texas, leading to 495 fatalities.

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