McEnany calls state coronavirus restrictions for Thanksgiving 'Orwellian'

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday called state restrictions meant to slow the spread of coronavirus around Thanksgiving "Orwellian" even as she acknowledged the Trump administration has ceded power to the governors to impose such measures.

"A lot of the guidelines you’re seeing are Orwellian," McEnany said in an appearance on "Fox & Friends."

"The American people know how to protect their health. We’ve dealt with COVID for many months," she added. "But 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, who tested positive for the coronavirus last month, pointed to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which are urging Americans to avoid holding Thanksgiving gatherings with people who do not live in their household in order to minimize the risks of spreading the coronavirus.

If extended family or friends do attend, the CDC advises to wear masks, maintain a distance of at least six feet and avoid sharing utensils.

Fox host Steve Doocy pointed out that the White House had previously deferred to governors on how to best handle the pandemic in their individual states.

"It’s up to every state to do what they want to do, but there are consequences for those states ... the American people are freedom loving people," McEnany said. "We can make good decisions, we can wash our hands wear masks, socially distance, but we can also decide in our own personal domicile, our own home, whether we can have our family members present at any given time."

Her comments came as she and others in the White House have refused to accept the results of the presidential election, which President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE lost.

The White House has offered little guidance on how to safely hold Thanksgiving celebrations, and Trump has hardly addressed the pandemic since the election two weeks ago.

State leaders have issued travel advisories and urged residents not to gather in large numbers for the holiday next week in an effort to limit the spread of the virus at a time when the U.S. is facing a daunting spike in infections and hospitalizations that threaten to overwhelm health care systems.