Mike Rowe on coronavirus lockdowns: 'There's a new word for 40 million people in this country: Non-essential'

Mike Rowe blasts politicians who deemed many workers ‘non-essential’

MikeRoweWORKS founder and ‘Deadliest Catch’ host Mike Rowe sounds off on ‘Hannity’

"It's crazy" that state and local governments have deemed millions of Americans to be "non-essential" workers due to coronavirus restrictions, "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe told "Hannity" Thursday.

"There's a new word for 40 million people in this country: Non-essential, and it's crazy," Rowe told host Sean Hannity. "We have deemed a giant hunk of our people essentially one click away from [being] unimportant or worthless."

As states and cities reimpose lockdowns and stay-at-home orders amid a surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Rowe said the looming closure of non-essential business is "just another example, in my opinion, of a big cookie-cutter approach in the name of public safety, where we treat everybody basically the same except for the essential folks."

"During this pandemic," Rowe added, "I've seen firsthand that everybody is essential to somebody, even if you're just working to pay your own bills. So something is going on here that is that is fundamentally upside-down. And the fact that these policies are now being instituted by leaders who have shown themselves to be the very definition of rank hypocrisy is, I'm afraid, going to lead us into a place where it's going to be very difficult to get the poop back in the goose."

When Hannity asked Rowe what would have happened across America in the early days of the pandemic if "farmers didn't farm, packers didn't pack and truckers didn't truck," the founder of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation responded by referencing a classic Christmas film.

"Frank Capra asked the same question even more broadly in 'It's A Wonderful Life.' He said, regarding George Bailey [played by Jimmy Stewart], 'What would happen if this one man had never been born, had he never walked the earth?'


"And the answer is everybody's favorite movie, because it shows us in clear terms how we're all connected," Rowe continued. "Never mind essential versus non-essential, fishermen versus farmers, steel workers versus pipefitters versus teachers versus accountants. We're all part of a mosaic.

"It's a quilt. And if you start to arbitrage certain people out of the mosaic based on some harebrained definition of essentiality, then you're going to get the really depressing parts of 'It's a Wonderful Life' and it's going to keep going on and on and on."

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