Limbaugh Caller: ‘Are We Trying to Keep People from Dying or Just Getting Sick?’

Passengers wearing masks as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 use their phones at the Sao Paulo International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
AP Photo/Andre Penner

A caller from Chicago into the Rush Limbaugh radio show Thursday sized up the nation’s current coronavirus lockdown situation in a manner the conservative host said was “the best way I’ve heard of putting this in perspective.”

Limbaugh summarized “Dean from Chicago’s” point:

The objective: Are we trying to keep people from dying or just keep them from getting sick? And it’s obvious. Now, they would tell us, no, we’re trying to save the people, limit the death rate. But they’re doing that assuming this thing kills everybody. They’re doing that by trying to shield anybody and everybody from getting the virus. And as you say that simply isn’t possible.

The caller initially asked, “The question is, what is the goal of this policy? Is the policy to minimize the number of deaths, or is it to prevent everybody from getting sick?”

He explained that if the goal is to keep down the number of deaths, the plan would be to simply isolate the elderly and those with additional underlying health problems. To attempt to block everyone from getting sick, however, by closing businesses and keeping people from leaving their homes, is, he said, “ridiculous.”

Limbaugh responded by highlighting a quote from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday:

[T]he answer to your question may be the latter. It may be they’re trying to prevent everybody from getting sick because they think that means everybody’s gonna die. And the reason I say this, and the reason I wanted to take your phone call, I have a quote from the “I’m governor and you’re not” press conference of Governor Cuomo yesterday. And the reporter said to him (paraphrasing), “There are protesters outside right now, they’re honking their horns and they’re raising signs. These are regular people, they’re not gonna get paychecks, some of them are not getting their unemployment paycheck. And they’re saying that they don’t have time to wait for all of this testing and they need to get back to work in order to feed their families.

It’s a female reporter yelling at Governor Cuomo. She said their savings are running out, they don’t have another week. They’re not getting answers. So, the point is the cure can’t be worse than the illness. And Governor Cuomo said the illness is death. What is worse than death? And there he answered your question, Dean. And the fact is, the illness is not death. Ninety-eight percent of the people who get the disease recover from it. It isn’t death. Your question is right, it does seem like they’re trying to prevent everybody from even getting sick.

The caller observed to Limbaugh that, even with social isolation, government officials cannot prevent everyone from getting the infection caused by the Chinese virus.

Limbaugh pointed out, however, that this fact simply does not “fit the political agenda that is attached here to maintaining the shutdown.”

Last week, the host, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump during the State of the Union address in February, warned his listeners that America is headed for another Great Depression if the economy contracts any further due to shutdowns in response to the pandemic.

Limbaugh stressed Americans need to know this path to a Depression could begin a reversal immediately, but that “there are forces arrayed against doing that”:

We know who they are. We know exactly. We know they’re all Democrats. We know they are some in the health and medical community.

The Drive-By Media, the media, and the Democrats are fully on board with the Democrat agenda here … They are hoping that coronavirus accomplishes what Robert Mueller and impeachment, Adam Schiff failed to do.

Dean from Chicago continued that the establishment of “herd immunity” to the coronavirus is the only way to stop it:

The best policy would be to isolate the groups that are most vulnerable, particularly to death, obviously, and the rest of them let people mix, let people get sick, let ’em recover, they’ve got herd immunity, life goes on. That’s the way it has to be.

Limbaugh replied by noting Sweden made that very decision.

“That’s what Sweden’s doing, and they’re having what they think is success with it,” he said. “And they’ve got the same population as Michigan. They’ve got a smaller death rate than Michigan has.”

Playing “devil’s advocate,” the host posed to Dean, “So, let’s say I’m a believer in the shutdown and you say that. Well, your way, Dean, is gonna get our hospitals flooded with all kinds of sick people that we’re not gonna be able to handle.”

“I don’t think that’s correct,” Dean said:

I think the initial shutdown was done because we didn’t have the data as to who’s gonna get sick. And I understand it. I understand the president, somebody comes in to his office and says, you know, two million people are gonna be dead, he’s gotta take some action. Well, now you have the data, get rid of the models. You now have the data. And the data is that the overwhelming majority of the people — and you’re talking like 95% of the people that are hospitalized in New York or in any other hot spot are elderly people that have underlying conditions or they’re morbidly obese or they have diabetes. This is the data that we have.

Dean recommended the president “needs a counterweight or a couple of counterweights to Drs. Fauci and Brix, particularly Fauci.”

“He needs to listen to other people that are immunologists and infectious disease specialists, but he needs to get — Fauci has to be cross-examined on this stuff because we don’t know where we’re going,” he explained

Limbaugh, however, countered that “we do know” where Democrats want to take the country:

And the reason I wanted your question, are they trying to stop people from dying or getting sick?

Because it clearly appears, if you listen to Fauci, if you listen to any of these medical people, you’re right, it seems like their objective is to shield people from getting the virus so that they do not get sick. There’s no amount of sequestering, there’s no amount of sheltering in place that is gonna accomplish that.

Dean from Chicago added that, by following the policy of trying to prevent everyone from getting sick, a “second wave” of coronavirus is guaranteed.

“I don’t know the magnitude of the second wave, but it will guarantee you a second wave,” he said. “People need to get out, mix, get the disease, for most of them it will be mild symptoms … or no symptoms at all, then they acquire immunity and life goes on.”

“The problem the president has is this is like a freight train,” he added. “This is like a 500-car freight train that you’ve ground to a halt in a very short time. You’re not gonna be able to crank this baby up as quickly as the president hopes, at least I don’t think so.”

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