PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Incoming Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith appeared on KOIN AM Extra on Thursday and doubled down on her message that she plans to have Thanksgiving with her family and friends despite the ‘freeze’ on social gatherings.
“I think people can make their own decisions about their own lives,” Smith said. “The government has no right to invade the privacy of people in their own homes.”
When asked how she reconciles her beliefs that go against scientific evidence from medical experts, she said she believes people can make decisions for themselves.
“I reconcile it by letting people make their own decisions…what I posted was about my family,” Smith said. “My private life will be conducted in a way I see fit.”
The incoming Clackamas County chair stirred controversy with a Facebook post made early Saturday, where she wrote “My family will celebrate Thanksgiving with as many family and friends as I can find. Gov Brown is WRONG to order otherwise.”
The post was made in response to Governor Kate Brown’s mandated two-week halt to social gatherings.
KOIN 6 reached out to Smith for comment Sunday and the Commissioner who doubled-down on her post. She reportedly did so again on during an appearance on FOX News earlier this week.
“I want to say this, this is the same governor who told forest firefighters to stand down and let homes burn …. and now she wants to separate families,” Smith said.
Researchers have exposed the frightening likelihood of silent spread of the virus by asymptomatic and presymptomatic carriers. But how major a role seemingly healthy people play in swelling the ranks of those infected remains unanswered — and at the top of the scientific agenda.
The small but mighty coronavirus can unlock a human cell, set up shop and mass produce tens of thousands of copies of itself in a single day. Virus levels skyrocket before the first cough, if one ever arrives. And astonishing to scientists, an estimated 4 in 10 infected people don’t ever have symptoms.
“This is likely the most dangerous time in Oregon,” the state’s epidemiologist, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, said on Friday during a press conference. “We can’t pretend COVID-19 is going away on its own.”