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March 20, 2020 05:24 PM UTC

The "Pansy-demic:" Chuck Bonniwell Wants the Elderly to Die to Save the Economy

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

You may remember Denver talk radio host Chuck Bonniwell, who got fired for joking that a “nice school shooting” was needed to break up the boredom of the impeachment hearings.

He’s got a new podcast now, called the Chuck and Julie Show, and Wednesday he accused Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) of destroying the state’s economy so that nobody will accuse Polis of “killing old people” who might get the coronavirus.

Given Bonniwell’s own admission that lots of his radio utterances are “going to be controversial,” you could easily decide it’s best just to ignore him.

But thoughts like Bonniwell’s seem to be spreading, if not spiking.

So I’ve quoted the pair extensively here and asked an expert to take valuable time to address what they’ve said.

Co-host Julie Hayden appears to share Bonniwell’s views.

“It sounds so callous, and you’re not supposed to say it out loud, but we are talking about the at-risk people, which include us, who don’t have that long a life-expectancy anyway,” said Julie Hayden, who is a former Fox 31 TV reporter, on their show Wednesday. “So we are destroying lives, we’re destroying an economy. We’re destroying people’s dreams.”

“It’s the pansy-demic,” said Bonniwell, who’s the publisher of the Cherry Creek/Glendale Chronicle.

Bonniwell went further, saying potential coronavirus victims are already “costing society huge amounts of money.”

“The people who it’s killing are costing society huge amounts of money,” continued Bonniwell. “They are medically, in many cases, indigent, and they have very serious diseases, respiratory, diabetes, and everything else. So they are probably, net, and you don’t like to talk about lives as net, they are takers from the economy, on Medicare and whatever else. “Their death is not hurting the economy, it’s enabling the economy. But we are never allowed to discuss those things. Our problem is that all the politicians in Washington, with a few exceptions, are in their 70s.”

Dr. Matthew Wynia, a Professor of Medicine and Public Health and the Director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, graciously agreed to respond to Bonniwell’s and Hayden’s thoughts.

“These are disturbing quotes, but my hunch is they reflect fears and prejudices that are not as rare as we might like,” said Wynia. “The most disturbing of these quotes are the ones that suggest some people are dead weight in society – eerily reminiscent of the ‘useless eaters’ argument the Nazi’s used to justify killing disabled people,” wrote Wynia in his emailed response. “I really don’t think our communities want to go there.” “The idea that ‘only’ elderly and disabled people will be affected is wrong, since if our health care system gets completely overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, that will affect anyone who needs medical care, whether for a skiing injury or car crash, heart attack, etc.,” continued Wynia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary figures Wednesday showing that about a third of U.S. coronavirus infections occurred in people 20-44 years old. A White House official expressed concern about the rising number of European young people getting “very seriously ill.” And health care workers have been sickened and killed across the globe.

Hayden and Bonniwell, whose show is popular among Republican activists in Colorado, spent most of their time Wednesday on the question of whether the economic upheaval was worth it to save lives.

Bonniwell accused Polis of creating a recession by closing down the oil-and-gas rigs and killing the ski, hotel, restaurant, and convention industries.

“He doesn’t care,” said Bonniwell of Polis.

“Are we sacrificing the economic health, so to speak, of one huge group of people for a little bit of extended longevity of a very small group of people? My question is, why are we doing this? In Colorado, for instance, every year, 400 people die in car crashes, right, which is more than are going to die of coronavirus. But no one says, we need to close all of the roads. We need to shut down highway transportation to preserve the lives of those 400 people who die in car crashes. It sounds so callous, but we’d destroying people’s lives economically.”

Wynia’s response: “There is of course some validity to the fact that we are currently trading economic security in exchange for (hopefully) reducing the number of people who become very ill all at once as a result of this pandemic. But if you look at Italy, France, Spain – or even Seattle and New York – Colorado is just days or weeks behind them on the epidemic curve. So the idea that ‘just’ a few hundred people might die in Colorado from COVID-19 is a tremendous under-estimate.”

Polis addressed the economic cost of the health crisis in a news conference Friday.

“We have to address the public health issue,” said Polis. “And you will continue to see additional guidance requirements in the coming days, because if we fail, the economic consequences of the virus running rampant will be far worse in the medium and long term. This will be difficult, but this will also be temporary.”


15 thoughts on “The “Pansy-demic:” Chuck Bonniwell Wants the Elderly to Die to Save the Economy

  1. Okay.  Go back to 2009 and his ilk of assholes were doing the scare tactic over ACA about how the bill was going to "kill grandma" and how it was going to do exactly what Chucky is advocating here.  I'd call it hypocritical, but wingnut psychos and many activist Repubs like to accuse progressives and Dems of wanting people to die, then turn around and actively promote killing people.  

  2. It is astonishing that someone can be so prominent, have such a large audience  AND be morally and factually wrong.

    ” “Are we sacrificing the economic health, so to speak, of one huge group of people for a little bit of extended longevity of a very small group of people? My question is, why are we doing this? In Colorado, for instance, every year, 400 people die in car crashes, right, which is more than are going to die of coronavirus. “

    If the number of Colorado cases increases at the LOWEST level of daily change in the national figures in the past three weeks (122% of the previous day) and the number of deaths/confirmed case increase at the LOWEST level of the same relationship in national figures over the past three weeks (129%), we go by 400 deaths before April 15. 

    Or look at it another way.  The lowest estimate of infection I’ve seen is 20%; lowest hospitalization rate I’ve seen is 5%; lowest ICU rate I’ve seen is 1%; lowest death rate I’ve seen is 0.5%. Applied to Colorado’s population of 5.8 million; 1.16 million infections; 290,000 hospitalizations; 58,000 in ICU; 29,000 deaths.  That’s 72 times the number of auto fatalities he’s talking about.


      1. Judging by this Westword photo, Bonniwell’s at least in his 60s. He’s typical of many conservatives in his thinking; all the other elderly people are useless eaters, while his own contributions to society are grand and worthwhile. 

        He’ll be blaming Democrats for not doing enough if the Covid19 epidemic touches him or his family personally. 

  3. I've got an otherwise healthy teenager who's at higher risk because he uses immunosuppressive drugs. I've got a mother in her 80s who paints and writes stories. I guess to Bonniwell my family members deserve to die. I wouldn't wish a serious case of coronavirus on anyone, so I guess I'll just pray that Bonniwell doesn't have a member of his family succumb to what he calls a "pansy-demic." What an awful, despicable person.

  4. A sniveling candy-ass like Chuck Bonniwell directing the word "pansy" as term of derision toward anyone or anything other than himself is projection on an epic scale.

  5. This is more likely the Bonniwell couples’ unoriginal gay-slur “mega-dittos” contribution to the ongoing righty meme-o’-the-week:  that gays are, of course, the only real Covid problem America faces.

    One of Rush’s replacement dunderstudies was spouting something earlier this week, about how all these silly economy-destroying lockdowns (using San Francisco as the example) were clearly the fault of all teh gayz — because “they” require all this special protection because of their compromised immune systems.  We wouldn’t be killing the economy if it weren’t for all those special protections needed today to keep “them” from dying.  And, if we were to just let them all die (unsaid,but implied: — like we should, and god surely wants) the Dems will of course blame Ttump.

    They know exactly who to blame for destroying all the good in America, like jobs and 401Ks and going to the malls and Disneyland and cross burnings, and they want you to know it, too.

    Just like the Bonniwells probably don’t really wish for boredom-alleviating school shootings, they also probably doesn’t really want any of the elderly dying from Covid . . .
    . . . except for those homosexual old people in their twenties, and over?. . . 

    You can give both Bonniwells their props for being slimy vile pricks (again), but don’t pretend for a moment that the two of them combined have got sufficient gray matter between them to be considered even slightly original ones . . . 

  6. It's not just the odious Bonniwells.  I've heard both Peterboil and "Kookaburra" Ross Kaminsky voicing this idea that saving lives is not worth ruining the economy.  Especially elderly lives.  Despicable is a gentle term for these people.  What's more, they don't understand that in an overwhelmed medical system, way more than virus patients will die.  

    What's really rubbing Ross raw, methinks, is that Botox and hair transplants (his two fave sponsors) have to be put on hold.  Boo hoo! 

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