CNBC reported that:
[Dan] Patrick, the Texas lieutenant governor, said Monday on Fox News, “As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren? And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.”
Apparently on the same show another fairly high profile US politician said
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): For a small segment of our population, it's true, the coronavirus can kill you. For a small segment.
But you know what else can kill you? Poverty. Hunger. Losing the entire economy.
And we need to stop thinking about the next election and try to think a little more about the next generation and what we leave to them, which is going to be the little end of nothing if we let this economy collapse.
According to CNN (which alas doesn't link to the actual polls they mention):
The often-dismissive messaging from Fox News hosts was notable, given that the viewers who make up the network's audience skew older and are thus more vulnerable to the disease.
Polls from both Gallup and Pew Research revealed that Republicans — who are largely distrustful of mainstream news organizations and primarily turn to Fox News and other right-wing sources for information on current events — were much less likely to take the risks of the coronavirus as seriously as their Democratic counterparts.
Of course, this being a rather emotionally charged judgement, it probably matters a lot how one phrases such a question/choice. Still, I want to know if there any surveys in the US on how much the public sees the mortality risk posed by COVID-19 (which as we know is most elevated for the elderly) as acceptable in balance with preserving the "American way of life", "keeping America great", or some other equivalently formulated socioeconomic normality [for the US]?
Before I get anymore downvotes, please note that I'm not endorsing those views... but they do exist in various shapes, e.g.
As fears of COVID-19 spread, so too have ageist messages suggesting that the coronavirus is a disease of the old, with internet memes referring to the virus as a ‘boomer remover.’
On the less frivolous side, the NYT has an article [sub]titled: "Shutdown Spotlights Economic Cost of Saving Lives. President Trump and others have asked if halting normal life and commerce to fight the coronavirus is worth the cost. Here’s how economists figure it. [...]
“Economists should be doing this cost-benefit analysis,” said Walter Scheidel, an economic historian at Stanford University. “Why is nobody putting some numbers on the economic costs of a monthlong or a yearlong shutdown against the lives saved? The whole discipline is well equipped for it. But there is some reluctance for people to stick their neck out.”
(For more on economics aspects of the crisis, see this econ SE question.)
So I think I'm well justified in asking this question, i.e. how widespread such views might be, especially when it comes to making a [hard] choice.