Tootie Smith Clackamas County Commissioner vows to defy Oregon governor coronavirus restrictions for upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations.
Does common sense still exist in the United States? How about Oregon?
Disconcert has come to the fore after a newly elected Oregon county commissioner has promised to defy the state’s new coronavirus restrictions — and invite ‘as many family and friends’ as possible during upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations.
Tootie Smith, a Republican set to start in January as chairwoman of the Clackamas Board of County Commissioners, condemned new restrictions announced Friday by Gov. Kate Brown, including a six-person limit at indoor and outdoor gatherings from Nov. 18 through Dec. 2 that will impact Thanksgiving gatherings.
‘My family will celebrate Thanksgiving with as many family and friends as I can find,’ Smith posted Saturday on Facebook. ‘Gov Brown is WRONG to order otherwise.’
Smith has previously argued further coronavirus restrictions, ‘are more damaging than they’re worth, given the increasing rates of child abuse, domestic violence and depression that come with them.’
Violators face $1,250 fines or jail time
Brown said she unveiled the new restrictions — which also limit all bars and restaurant to takeout, and shut down all gyms — to ‘save lives’ in the state, where records were set last week for single-day positive cases and hospitalizations, The Oregonian reported.
The recent surge in Oregon has doubled the number of cases in a mere two weeks and health officials are tallying about 900 infections daily, according to the report.
Brown’s new public health order also calls on police to enforce it, with violators potentially being fined up to $1,250 or facing jail time if they refuse to comply with the public health mandates.
Reps from the governor’s and local sheriff’s office, meanwhile, did not respond to a request to say whether they plan to make a stop at Smith’s house on Thanksgiving, The Oregonian reported.
‘Well, I don’t know if there’s going to be a knock at the door,’ Smith told the outlet. ‘But I’m going to, in my very private home with my family, continue to celebrate this holiday and Christmas as well.’
Smith, 63, said she has spoken to ‘hundreds if not thousands’ of people who aren’t pleased with Oregon’s most restrictive guidelines since Brown issued a stay-at-home order in March.
The incoming Republican official who appears to mirror the view of her constituents that civil liberties should triumph, even during a pandemic affecting the wider community, declined to spell out how many guests she intends to host at her home. That said, Smith has acknowledged it’ll be more than the six-person, two-household limit set by Brown.
Tootie Smith: You are so defiant and have no regard for anyone you represent. You are choosing a very slippery slope and your future in the political arena will suffer for your position on Gov. Brown’s 2 week freeze. You have health care some of us don’t. Self absorbed person.
— Trudy Rees (@ReesTrudy) November 16, 2020
‘The people I represent are informed, intelligent and educated citizens of the US and Clackamas County,’
‘I don’t have high blood pressure,’ Smith said. ‘I’m not overweight. I’m not diabetic. I don’t have cancer. … But I understand that there are people out there who do have those diseases. And they need be cautious and they need to stay home, if that’s what they choose to do.’
Smith, who served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 2001 through 2005, said she believes citizens can ‘make their own informed decisions’ in a follow-up Facebook post Sunday.
‘The people I represent are informed, intelligent and educated citizens of the US and Clackamas County,’ Smith posted on Facebook. ‘They understand the guidelines set forth for Covid prevention listed by the CDC: wear masks in public, wash hands, six feet distancing and stay home when sick.’
Smith also said her family will take the necessary steps to protect themselves at the dinner table.
‘My family makes their own decisions,’ she told KOIN. ‘My family understands hygiene. They understand that if they’re sick they’ll stay home. They understand to wear masks in public. They understand to wash their hands. And, they understand to cover their mouth if they have a cough. We don’t need government telling us that.’
While many in the community have applauded Smith’s stance, including one commentator who posted on Smith’s wall, ‘Thank you for standing up again(st) this dictator we unfortunately call our Governor,’ many have adamantly disagreed with her.
Thank you to you and all of the many healthcare workers who are working in these difficult circumstances. I am so disappointed that the quality of our County Board will be degraded with the swearing in January of an anti-science chair of the Commission, Tootie Smith. https://t.co/muNB2ziLnO
— @ShortallMary (@ShortallMary) November 16, 2020
‘Who raised you? Wolves?’
A surge of social media by Sunday afternoon condemned Smith’s ‘irresponsible’ stance, including a one nurse who posted that Smith did not ‘deserve to be a leader’ in the county.
Adding, ‘Your ignorance in the face of a global pandemic is heartbreaking. You would put your family, friends, community, health care providers, and first responders in harm’s way? …Who raised you? Wolves?’
‘How about listening to science,’ wrote one. ‘Stop being part of the problem.’
Where individual liberties and mandates supersede collective health agendas during a national emergency … but at what cost? And whose life?