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White House Press Secretary Calls Thanksgiving COVID-19 Restrictions ‘Orwellian’

The US boasts the highest pandemic infection and death rates in the world, with over 248,000 killed and 11.4 million infected. As the pandemic rages in such populous states as California and Texas, it is now up to state governors to enforce measures to curb the rapid rise of new cases, as there is no federal mandate to address COVID-19.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany criticized the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and state restrictions, which urge people to avoid social gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday, describing the health guidelines as “Orwellian”. Americans do not need to be told how to protect their health, she said in a “Fox & Friends” interview.

"It’s Orwellian in a place like Oregon to say if you gather in numbers more than six we might come to your house and arrest you and you get 30 days of jail time. That’s not the American way", McEnany stated. In October, McEnany tested positive for COVID-19 but reportedly experienced no symptoms.

While CDC guidelines make no limits or offer a specific number of attendees for Thanksgiving gatherings, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced new coronavirus restrictions, limiting social gatherings to six people, suspending in-person dining and shutting down certain public facilities. On 17 November, the Oregon Health Authority reported 935 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 58,750.

In March, US President Donald Trump held a conference call in which he encouraged state governors in the nation to lift restrictions if they did not consider the pandemic to be a health risk.

“Different states need different things.  And we — we agree on that 100 percent. But we had a very good talk, and I think we’re right down the same track, and it’s going to be very successful”, Trump claimed during the news briefing.

Following the outbreak of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the US has had the highest death and infection rates in the world, with over 11 million infected, over 248,000 dead.

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