Under fire again? Kelly Dodd is making headlines for her controversial comments amid the coronavirus pandemic — again.
The 44-year-old Real Housewives of Orange County star celebrated the reopening of restaurants and stores in her California hometown on Monday, May 25.
“Yay, we finally get to have a meal out,” Dodd said in a video via her Instagram Stories. “Yay, no one is wearing a mask. I love it. Yay!”
While employees at the restaurant Dodd was dining at in the O.C. were clearly wearing masks in her video, she repeated herself.
“No one is wearing masks here in Orange County. Yup, because no one is dying here of the virus,” the Bravo star claimed, showing off her meal with her mom, Bobbi. Dodd was also joined by 13-year-old daughter Jolie, whom she shares with ex-husband Michael Dodd.
Kelly concluded her day out with a message on her Instagram Stories: “It’s not the government’s job to protect my health. It’s the government’s job to protect my RIGHTS. It’s my job to protect my health. When you trade liberty for safety you end up losing both.”
Orange County has lost more 131 people to coronavirus in recent months. According to the Los Angeles Times, the county recorded 14 deaths related to the virus on Thursday, May 21, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began.
Kelly later clarified her comments. “I was by no means minimizing deaths that have been caused by this virus. And I feel for their loved ones,” she explained via an Instagram video, noting that she was wearing a mask before she sat down to eat. “However, Orange County has 133 deaths out of 3 million people, much lower than most. I felt encouraged and excited that people were out and about and there was some sense of normalcy.”
This is hardly the first time the reality TV personality has made headlines for her controversial comments about the COVID-19 crisis. She apologized in April for saying coronavirus was “God’s way of thinning the herd.”
“What I meant was, do these pandemics happen because it’s God’s way? I’m not God, I’m not insensitive,” she said. “I feel bad for all the families who have lost loved ones. And I do think we should all stay home and protect everybody. That’s not what I meant, and I want to apologize to anybody who got offended. I’m sorry.”
Less than month later, however, Kelly compared coronavirus to the flu.
“People are going to die! I’m sorry to tell ya,” she told her nearly 760,000 Instagram followers in May.