Dave Portnoy, the founder of the blog Barstool Sports, delivered an impassioned and very vulgar speech on social media Wednesday after growing fed up with how coronavirus lockdowns are damaging jobs and the economy.
Venting in a video Twitter post that he described as “corona rant time,” Portnoy laid into government officials for moving the goal posts in regard to opening back up the economy, and said he would rather die from the coronavirus than lose his business.
“When did this become ‘flatten the curve,’ ‘flatten the curve,’ ‘flatten the curve,’ to ‘we have to find a cure or everyone’s going to die?’” Portnoy said.
Portnoy aimed some of his ire at Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who he described as a “nice enough dude.”
“He gets in front of the Senate, he’s like, ‘We reopen the country too quick, everyone’s dead!’ Where’d that come from?” he added.
“And the LA mayor, ‘We’re not opening the city ’til we find a cure’? What? Find a cure? What? Who says we’re gonna find a cure? We haven’t found a cure to cancer. It took AIDS 20 years or whatever — do we even have a cure? So the economy is just shut down?” Portnoy continued.
Pointing out that there are now ample resources for hospitals to handle an influx of patients, Portnoy called out some state and local governments for “changing the rules.”
The Barstool Sports founder said he’s concerned that if the lockdowns continue, people will not have jobs and companies to return to.
“You’ve got to give these people a choice,” Portnoy said. “If you told me, because of corona I lost Barstool, I had to get a 9-to-5 and start f—ing over, I’d rather die of corona. Seriously. Or at least take my chances.
“I’m not saying everybody would do that. I would. But if I’ve dedicated 20 years of my life I don’t want to start over. I’ll f—ing deal with corona,” he said.
“You can’t just make everybody stay inside and basically start over. It’s insane. What the f— do they think is going to happen?” Portnoy asked. “At some level, we’ve done what you asked us to do. If you’re that scared still of corona, stay inside. The beds are open.”
“There are no great options, but you can’t just decimate the entire economy! How the f— is that gonna work?” he added. “We’re staying inside until there’s a cure?”
“There’s risk. We’re Americans. You have to take risk!” Portnoy said.
“If people want to go out, they can go out. If they want to stay in, they stay in,” he added. “We have no chance if you don’t let people go outside. This country is going to be done-zo. No one is going to have jobs, no one is going to have businesses. It’s going to be done. It’s over. Let me roll the dice and play with corona or at least give me the choice.”
As of Thursday, Portnoy’s rant had been viewed 4.7 million times on Twitter and shared more than 60,000 times.
Portnoy previously had a public feud with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York after the freshman democratic socialist congresswoman criticized Barstool Sports last year in response to a joke Portnoy made about firing employees who might attempt to start a union.
The congresswoman accused Portnoy of breaking the law.
“If you’re a boss tweeting firing threats to employees trying to unionize, you are likely breaking the law &can be sued,in your words, “on the spot,” she wrote. “ALL workers in the US have the protected freedom to organize for better conditions.”
If you’re a boss tweeting firing threats to employees trying to unionize, you are likely breaking the law &can be sued,in your words, “on the spot.”
ALL workers in the US have the protected freedom to organize for better conditions.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 13, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez attempted to use the saga to raise money for her campaign, but Portnoy ended up coming out on top after Barstool Sports was flooded with record-breaking online traffic.
Portnoy challenged the Democrat to a debate, which never happened,
Portnoy also criticized AOC on Fox News:
“I don’t think she has any clue who we are or what we do. She just jumped in the fray like an idiot and now it helped us. But, yeah, it was a good day for Barstool. It continues to be,” he said.
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