Ezekiel Emanuel has some unsettling beliefs.
Does Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel believe Joe Biden would be better off dead?
That would be a peculiar position for Biden’s chief adviser on medical issues and a member of the candidate’s Public Health Advisory Committee to take. But if we accept the reasoning behind Emanuel’s infamous 2014 essay, Biden is nothing more than a resource-sucking shell of himself who should stop trying to prolong his life.
I suspect that if one of Trump’s advisers on coronavirus had once taken to the august pages of The Atlantic to reason that men who reach the age of 75 are useless to society, the press would be vigorously exploring and amplifying his position. Reporters have rarely bothered to bring it up with Emanuel, who is constantly on TV — or with Biden, who is now “sheltered in place” and trying to prolong his life.
It’s quite simple: Does Emanuel believe that Biden, aged 78 on Inauguration Day, is faltering or declining, or in a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived? Does Emanuel consider Biden to have been robbed of his ability to contribute to work, society, and the world? Does he believe that Biden will now be remembered as feeble, ineffectual, and even pathetic? Is Biden’s creativity, originality, and productivity pretty much gone? Surely a younger person, according to Emanuel’s own societal prescription, would be better prepared for the job.
While some of us believe age is catching up to Biden — time waits for no one, etc. — we still believe his life is more than political aspirations. Does Emanuel?
In his essay, Biden’s high-achieving adviser, one of the architects of Obamacare, judges the value of a life by the number of books a person can write or the number of technocratic laws they can help pass or the number of times they can climb Kilimanjaro. Did you know that the average age that Nobel Prize–winning physicists make their great discoveries is 48? Really, after that our feeble minds are “constricting of our ambitions and expectations.”
At 65, Emanuel promises to stop attempting to actively prolong his life. No more colonoscopies and no more flu shots, he assures us. “And if there were to be a flu pandemic,” he writes, “a younger person who has yet to live a complete life ought to get the vaccine or any antiviral drugs.” Does Biden’s scientific advisor believe that it is the moral responsibility of older Americans to deny themselves potential coronavirus vaccines? If not, why not?
Of course, Emanuel claims to be speaking only for himself, calling his view “a personal preference, not a policy proposal.” But is his logic not universal? Would it not apply both to every man over 75 and to Americans who suffer from cognitive disorders and other disabilities? After all, they consume precious resources that could be used by the vibrant young people chasing their first Nobel Prize.
Reprinted with Permission from - National Review by - David Harsanyi