Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has encouraged her citizens to snitch on their neighbors should they be in violation of her COVID-19 restrictions this Thanksgiving.
Speaking with local media on Friday, Brown compared the snitching on neighbors for what they do in the privacy of their own home to that of violating a noise ordinance.
“This is no different than what happens if there’s a party down the street and it’s keeping everyone awake,” Brown said on Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it’s too noisy. This is just like that. It’s like a violation of a noise ordinance.”
Brown instituted an executive order last week preventing Oregon residents from eating out at restaurants or going to the gym while limiting all social gatherings to just six people.
“We are eight months into the pandemic. We all have COVID fatigue. But we must stay vigilant. As the holidays approach, the best way to show our love this season is to rethink how we celebrate. I’m urging all Oregonians to limit their holiday get-togethers and wear a mask!” she tweeted last week.
We are eight months into the pandemic. We all have COVID fatigue. But we must stay vigilant. As the holidays approach, the best way to show our love this season is to rethink how we celebrate. I'm urging all Oregonians to limit their holiday get-togethers and wear a mask! pic.twitter.com/orcsXuDwQM
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) November 20, 2020
Those in violation could face up to 30 days in jail or a $1250 fine. Brown received immense blowback in response to the order, with the Marion County Sheriff’s office publicly saying they will not enforce it.
“We recognize that we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic, and we believe both are counterproductive to public health goals,” the office stated.
Brown denounced her critics as “irresponsible.”
“Look, all of this is irresponsible,” she said. “These are politicians seeking headlines, not public servants, trying to save lives. My top priority as governor is to keep Oregonians healthy and safe. That’s where I’m focused.”
“This is about saving lives and it’s about protecting our fellow Oregonians,” she added. “We have too many sporadic cases in Oregon. We can’t trace these cases to a particular source. We have to limit gatherings and social interactions.”
Speaking on Fox & Friends, contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy denounced Brown’s order as a Soviet tactic.
“They also turn in their neighbors in China and in the Soviet Union. This is so un-American,” she said. “Right now, just keeping your family Thanksgiving traditions is just an act of civil disobedience. I say just the home is sacred. What we do inside of our homes is our business and I want the government out of it.”
“Americans care more about their grandmothers and their parents more than the government. They know how to take the right precautions to take care of grandma … I know people who were self-quarantining ahead of Thanksgiving,” she added. “They’re driving instead of flying. People know how to do this and they don’t need the government and nosy neighbors turning them in.”
Sheriff’s departments across the United States have said they will not enforce COVID-19 ordinances.