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Admiral Brett Giroir says 'evidence' isn't there to enforce shutdown of outdoor dining

The Admiral's comments come hours after California went into a second full lockdown

Updated: December 7, 2020 - 3:32pm

White House coronavirus testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir said Monday that "evidence just isn't there" to support the heightened restriction on limiting restaurant capacity during the coronavirus pandemic, amid this fall's spike in cases.

"The evidence clearly does not support limitations on things like outdoor dining, particularly that are spaced, outdoor bars. You know, the evidence just isn’t there. And remember, shutting down completely, particularly if you don’t have evidence, can be counterproductive," said Giroir, who is a pediatrician and assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Giroir's statement follows the new California lockdown order issued by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that went into effect at midnight Sunday in parts of Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.

Restaurants owners in the state are taking issue with Newsom's most recent order, which will disproportionately impact their already struggling industry. About 85% of state residents live in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. Newsom says the shutdown will be temporary, but the timeline is unclear. 

As of Sunday, California was logging more than 30,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus daily, and about 85 deaths per day.