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Sen. John Kennedy: ‘Coronavirus Can Kill You – But, So Can Poverty;’ ‘We've Got to Get This Economy Open’

By Craig Bannister | April 10, 2020 | 9:44am EDT
Sen. John Kennedy
(Getty Images/Saul Loeb)

“While we save lives, we’ve also got to get started saving livelihoods,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) declared Thursday, noting that, while the coronavirus can kill Americans, “So can poverty.”

Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Sen. Kennedy said it’s time for the government, which shut down the U.S. economy, to begin reopening it in order to save lives: “We know that the coronavirus can kill you – but, so can poverty.”

“But, we’ve got to be smart about how we do it,” he added:

“Thanks to President Trump, we have gotten everything we need, including, but not limited to, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and ventilators. We, of all our ventilators in the state, only about twenty percent right now are in use. Our numbers are headed in the right direction. We still have to be vigilant.

“But, while we save lives, we’ve also got to get starting saving livelihoods, Sean. We’ve got to get this economy back open.

“Now, before the well-intentioned arugula and tofu crowd gets all lubed up, I’m not talking about opening it Monday. But, we’ve got to get this economy open. Government shut it down.”

“We’ve got to be smart about how we do it.”

Other countries, like Austria, Denmark, and Germany are starting to gradually reopen their economies, and “We've got to start talking about how to do that here,” Sen. Kennedy said:

“Once again, I’m not saying to put the economy ahead of public safety. But, the fact is that both of them are important.

“We know that the coronavirus can kill you – but, so can poverty.”

American workers have been willing to stay home, “But, they’re not going to stay home much longer,” Kennedy said:

“The American people have demonstrated a lot of common decency – the health care workers, the food workers, but also the people who have been willing to stay home – but, they’re not going stay home much longer.”

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