Brett Jensen | @Brett_Jensen
Dena Diorio wants you to stay home for Christmas, but has different plans for herself this holiday season. In a virtual press conference Monday, the Mecklenburg County Manager said she would be traveling across the state to see loved ones in Durham, despite pleas to have other residents celebrate with those only in their own household.
“For this holiday season, we ask that you stay home and only be around those that you live with,” she said.
It was a message that was reaffirmed by County Health Director Gibbie Harris, who addressed the media following Diorio’s opening remarks.
When asked about their personal Christmas plans by Alison Kuznitz of the Charlotte Observer, Diorio’s response was a direct contradiction of her previous statement.
“I will be traveling by car to Durham, North Carolina, to see some close family,” she said.
An admission by the County Manager that was questioned by WBT’s Brett Jensen, who asked why there was a different standard for Diorio as opposed to the general public.
Diorio felt justified. “I know who the family is and where they spend their time. So, I feel comfortable making that trip,” she said. “It’s two people in a household. It’s not a group. It’s a very small number of people. I feel very confident about their safety. If I did not feel comfortable, I would not go.”
Jensen then asked if Diorio recommended open travel for others, to which she responded by saying, “I’m making a personal decision based on information that I have. So, that’s the decision that I’ve made and I think everybody needs to do the same.
The exchange between Diorio and Jensen aired on FOX and Friends Wednesday morning.
Diorio is the latest public official to demand people follow strict COVID-19 guidelines and ignore them for personal reasons.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom decided to host guests at a fancy restaurant in November while forgoing the lockdown orders he put in place weeks prior. He later apologized for his actions. From the same state on the west coast, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi broke Coronavirus protocols for a hair salon visit in San Francisco back in September. She also apologized, but later blamed salon management for opening up to accommodate her visit.
Denver, Colo. Mayor Michael Hancock took a flight to Mississippi to see family for Thanksgiving after telling folks to stay home and not make plans to see their family. He falls in line with Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler, who made a video urging people to stay home from a luxury resort suite in Mexico’s finest Cabo San Lucas.
According to the Associated Press, White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx traveled out of state over the Thanksgiving holiday, as health officials urged Americans to forego holiday travel. She announced her retirement on Wednesday amid criticism over the holiday trip.