A city official in Antioch, California, which has a population of over 100,000 people, has been removed from his position after comments surfaced in which he suggested that the Coronavirus should be essentially welcomed because it could kill people, like the homeless and immunocompromised elderly individuals, who he called a “drain on society.” The person behind these nasty sentiments is Ken Turnage II, who led the city planning commission until the City Council voted to remove him from his post recently. Turnage made the comments on Facebook, and, stunningly, he’s mostly refused to back down from his murderous position following predictable backlash.
He’d written on Facebook that “[if] we were to live our lives, let nature run its course, yes we will all feel hardship, we will all feel loss,” but, he added, “the deaths would alleviate strain on the country’s healthcare and Social Security systems and free up jobs and housing,” as the Los Angeles Times summarizes. So, instead of seeking to simply improve social support systems, Turnage’s idea is to kill off large swaths of the population so that competition for the meager provisions that are already available supposedly gets a little bit easier. He wrote on Facebook that when it comes to “our homeless and other people who just defile themselves by either choice or mental issues,” the Coronavirus could “fix what is a significant burden on our society.”
Turnage appears, in short, to be living in some white knight fantasy in which he and those willing to entertain his ideas hold the key to some kind of societal salvation. In truth, he is delusional. Viruses don’t pick and choose who they infect. If homeless people and elderly individuals get infected with the virus, then other people are going to get infected too, and other people are going to die as well. Does Turnage want to be the one to tell these people’s families that their loved ones were supposed “drains on society” who he thought the world was better off without? Or does he want to ensnare someone else in his mass murder plan and have someone else do that “dirty work”?
In an angry video posted in response to criticism, Turnage suggested that people offended at his remarks needed to go back to their “safe space.” He ranted:
‘Yes, I do understand some of the analogies I made could’ve been done differently…. And for that, I wish I would have done something different, but I didn’t. Reality does not fit our moral compass… and sometimes it makes us uncomfortable, even other people’s opinions…. You and I both have the constitutional right to an opinion. Doesn’t matter if people like it…. I really wish people that were sensitive and needed their safe space would have stayed away from my space.’
What a tool. The issue at hand does not revolve around safe spaces. Turnage is literally proposing mass murder, and yet, he suggests that anyone who dares to challenge him is just a snowflake who needs to accept that there’s a difference of opinion in the world.
Amidst the struggles to effectively respond to the pandemic, the University of Washington has revised their forecast for the eventual total death toll in the United States up to over 134,000.