- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A North Carolina county official on Monday defended her “personal decision” to travel to see family during the holidays despite telling residents that holiday gatherings are one of “the most dangerous places you can be.”

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said during a virtual press conference that holiday gatherings could be potentially deadly during a surge in coronavirus cases.

“For this holiday season, we ask that you stay home and only be around those who you live with,” she said, reading from prepared remarks.

Later in the conference, Ms. Diorio was asked by The Charlotte Observer’s Alison Kuznitz, how she will be celebrating the holidays this year “now that we have to adjust with the pandemic.”

“I will be traveling by car to Durham, North Carolina, to see some close family. Small group,” Ms. Diorio responded.

Ms. Kuznitz didn’t press the issue but WBT’s Brett Jensen did later on, saying he was “curious” and “confused” by Ms. Diorio’s answer.

“Isn’t that what we’re not supposed to be doing, by spending only time with people that we actually live with?” Mr. Jensen asked.

“I know who the family is,” Ms. Diorio replied. “I know where they spend their time, so I feel comfortable making that trip. It’s two people in a household, it’s not a group. It’s a very small number of people and I feel very confident about their safety. So if I did not feel comfortable, I would not go.”

Mr. Jensen pressed further: “So do you recommend that for everyone? … You said you feel comfortable with them even though you’re not with them 24/7, obviously, and most people aren’t doing that with their family, I mean not living with them 24/7 either.”

“I don’t know if you can speak for most people,” Ms. Diorio fired back, “but I’m making a personal decision based on information that I have, and so that’s the decision that I’ve made and I think everybody needs to do the same.”

An edited clip of the exchange first aired on Fox News Wednesday.

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