On Friday, Kate Brown, the Democrat Governor of Oregon, triggered outrage after she stated in an interview that neighbors should call the police if they find another family celebrating Thanksgiving with too many people in their home.
On November 17, Brown announced restrictions forbidding gatherings of more than six people inside any one home. Violators could be fined up to $1,250 and get jail time.
Tootie Smith, elected in November as chair of Clackamas County, said on Fox News on November 18, “This is a travesty that’s happening in our state. How dare Governor Brown think she’s going to come out, she’s going to send the police into people’s homes and arrest them and fine them for having a Thanksgiving meal with their family, while at same time she lets rioters and anarchists destroy downtown in the city of Portland. That’s hypocrisy.” She added, “We don’t need to be treated as second-rate slaves in our own homes.”
On November 20, the Marion County Sheriff’s office indicated that they are not going to enforce the order, stating, “We recognize that we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic, and we believe both are counterproductive to public health goals.”
Asked by KGW’s Maggie Vespa on Friday about the comments critical of her restrictions, Brown replied, “Look. All of this is irresponsible. These are politicians seeking headlines, not public servants trying to save lives. … We continue to make decisions based on science and data.”
Vespa asked: “When people hear that law enforcement may be employed to enforce these restrictions, we saw people kind of taking from that any myriad of meaning; in other words, kind of inferring what they might be inclined to infer. Can you just once and for all be very clear about what role law enforcement will play in enforcing this?”
“Sure,” Brown replied. “As always, we are taking an education-first approach; and the good news is that the vast majority of Oregonians are complying with these measures. However, these measures are enforceable by law, and those who don’t enforce these measures put every single one of us at risk. That’s unacceptable.”
“Do you want people calling the police on their neighbors, non-emergency lines or 911?” Vespa bluntly asked.
“Look, this is no different from what happens if there’s a party down the street and it’s keeping everyone awake,” Brown said. “What do neighbors do? They call law enforcement because it’s too noisy. This is just like that. It’s like a violation of a noise ordinance.”
“But that could be a yes,” Vespa pointed out.
Brown answered, “Yes. Yes. But honestly, they shouldn’t have to. This is about saving lives and it’s about protecting our fellow Oregonians. It’s about protecting our families; it’s about protecting our vulnerable community members, and frankly, it’s about protecting the entire state of Oregon.”
“For the next two weeks in Oregon, and four weeks in Multnomah County, residents are banned from eating out at restaurants and going to the gym, among other restrictions,” the Daily Mail notes. “Those who break the rules could face up to 30 days in jail, $1,250 in fines, or both.”
Video of Brown below: