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Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro defended Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday after he faced backlash for acknowledging that reopening businesses in the state will lead to an increase in the raw number of coronavirus infections.
"Yeah, no bleep, Sherlock," Shapiro fired back. "Abbott was being ripped up and down for recognizing that there are additional risks when you open things up ... why is any of this a shock?"
"This is the basic premise of a lockdown," "The Ben Shapiro Show" host went on. "If going back to work doesn't add risk, why did we lock down?"
"Were we not supposed to expect additional risk when we were told to go out?" Shapiro asked. "Of course we were. The question is, which populations are least likely to suffer from the additional risk? Young people, healthy people, children.
"Those people are exorbitantly unlikely to die of COVID-19 and to pretend that everybody is equally susceptible and you cannot open in a responsible fashion ... " he trailed off.
President Trump on Tuesday stressed the importance of lifting the shutdown orders, arguing that keeping the economy closed indefinitely carries deadly costs of its own, such as drug abuse and suicide.
"President Trump is right about this," Shapiro said.
Further wading into the ongoing controversy over when to lift coronavirus-induced restrictions, Shapiro urged Democratic governors who are delaying their state's reopening to provide an alternative solution.
"This is the dumbest form of our political conversation ... it is so stupid because no alternative has actually been provided," Shapiro said. "None. I'm sorry, lockdown is not an alternative. Full-time lockdown forever until the end of time with no schooling ... no work ... none of this is a reality. But it's very easy to just sit in your corner and shout 'You don't care about human life.'"
Shapiro added that critics of leaders calling for reopenings have yet to "come to grips with the reality of public policymaking."
"Instead, they're involved in this idiotic political calculation that suggests that we're all supposed to pretend that public policy has no trade-offs," he said. "It drives me up a wall. It''s what makes nonpartisan issues like risk and calculation into partisan issues, when you suggest that people actually want people to die in order to reopen the economy."