doctor whom President-electJoe Bidenhas appointed to advise about the coronavirus is facing criticism for an article he wrote six years ago in which he argued that he had no aspiration to live beyond the age of 75.
The essay by Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist who is one of the 10 advisory board members that Biden appointed to his coronavirus task force this week, outlined how he believed by that age "creativity, originality and productivity are pretty much gone for the vast, vast majority of us."
"Living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived," he wrote in the piece for the October 2014 edition ofThe Atlanticheadlined, "Why I Hope to Die at 75."
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel speaks onstage at the Klick Health Ideas Exchange on June 15, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has penned an article in which he said he does not prioritize living over the age of 75.NEILSON BARNARD//GETTY IMAGES
He said that Americans were obsessed with health remedies in a "valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible," and that "I reject this aspiration. I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive.
"For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop," said Emmanuel, who is 63. He wrote he would reject medical treatments like flu shots, and that "if there were to be a flu pandemic, a younger person who has yet to live a complete life ought to get the vaccine or any antiviral drugs."
Emanuel made it clear in the piece that he he opposed physician-assisted suicide, and did not want to reach 75 and then simply die.
Many took to social media to highlight the awkward questions Emmanuel has raised, given that he will play a role in protecting the elderly from COVID-19, not to mention that Biden himself is 77.
PresidentDonald Trump's campaign account @TeamTrump tweeted: "CRAZY: Biden's Pick for Coronavirus Task Force Said 'Living Too Long Is Also a Loss,' and 'Dying at 75 will not be a tragedy.'"
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted: "@JoeBiden 's COVID task force pick, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, on why life is not worth preserving after 75."
The host of the Daily Wire'sThe Matt Walsh Showtweeted to his 517,000 followers: "The coronavirus disproportionately kills those who are 75 and older. Joe Biden's coronavirus adviser has argued in the past that people who are over the age of 75 would be better off dead. What could possibly go wrong?"
Republican Senator for Arkansas, Tom Cotton, tweeted: "Americans want our country opened up, not creepy bioethicists who enjoy playing God."
Conservative attorney and political analyst Gayle Trotter tweeted: "Oops I guess if flu shots are out for those 75 or older, Biden's coronavirus adviser must really oppose vaccines and even ANTIBIOTICS for those same aged folk
Meanwhile, healthcare advocate Kendall Brown, whose handle describes how she is "fighting to defeat Republican supermajorities," tweeted that Emanuel's piece "makes me feel....uh.....not exactly confident that he wouldn't argue against the value of disabled lives."