• Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's latest comments came during an appearance on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight"
  • Patrick appeared on the show to defend previous comments that "lots of grandparents" were willing to die to keep the U.S. economy afloat
  • Patrick said people had to be willing to "take some risks" to get the U.S. and the economy back to normal

After sparking controversy over past comments about the coronavirus, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Monday said there were “more important things than living” while discussing the pandemic’s effect on the U.S. economy.

Patrick appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to address backlash towards previous comments about the risks of reopening the U.S. economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

The biggest criticism had been levied at his comment that “lots of grandparents” were willing to die during the outbreak to keep the U.S. economy working. Patrick doubled-down on these statements, saying he felt “vindicated” for the comments after heavy backlash.

“And what I said when I was with you that night, there are more important things than living,” Patrick said. “And that’s saving this country for my children, and my grandchildren and saving this country for all of us.

“I don’t want to die. Nobody wants to die, but man we gotta take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running.”

Patrick continued, saying he was happy to see states like Texas beginning to reopen and that he stood by his March comments. He then said while “every life is valuable,” the U.S. should not have been locked down under “draconian” rules.

The Texas Democratic Party hit back at Patrick’s latest comments in a statement released shortly after the interview aired.

“They would see our family members die to bail out Wall Street. The lives of our families, our friends, and our communities have no dollar amount. Texas Republicans can no longer claim to be the pro-life party anymore," the organization told NBC News.

The response to Patrick’s comments on Twitter has been largely negative, as well.