Donald Trump's press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany has described the new Covid-19 safety guidelines as 'Orwellian' but not in the common way the word is used.
Appearing on Fox and Friends on Wednesday, McEnany was asked by one of the co-hosts Steve Doocy, about safety advice from certain state governs during the Thanksgiving holiday and warning against large gatherings indoors.
In response McEnany said:
Yeah, I think a lot of the guidelines you’re seeing are Orwellian. Let me start by saying the CDC has put out considerations as we prepare to go about Thanksgiving about socially distancing, wearing masks, doing what you can and there’s a whole list, a page of very good considerations and in that they say we’re not recommending a certain number of people but we are giving considerations that you should put in place and I think that’s the American way.
The American people know how to protect their health. We’ve dealt with COVID for many months 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. We don’t lose our freedom in this country. We make responsible health decisions as individuals.
By now, we shouldn't be surprised to see the Trump administration downplaying the severity of the coronavirus but McEnany's use of the word Orwellian doesn't really make much sense.
The word, which is a reference to author George Orwell and his famous novel 1984, is often used to describe dystopian realities and totalitarian governments. The word isn't usually used in association with things that are trying to help people and prevent a deadly disease from spreading like wildfire.