Dr. Siegel warns 'cruel' Los Angeles restaurant closures will lead to 'much bigger crowds' indoors

Most new COVID-19 cases in LA traced back to mostly chain restaurants, including McDonald's and Domino's

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's new ban on onsite service for restaurants, bars, and wineries will likely backfire as more people will be forced to congregate indoors to celebrate Thanksgiving, Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel warned on Monday.

In an appearance on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Siegel urged Garcetti to "please reconsider closing bars and restaurants in Los Angeles when they are not spreading COVID-19.

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"When many people, mayor, are waiting for their turkey at one of these restaurants, instead, what are they going to do?" he asked rhetorically. "They will be gathering [in] much bigger crowds than they would have, potentially spreading COVID-19. There's the hypocrisy of government."

Health officials in Los Angeles County announced Sunday that indoor dining service for restaurants, bars and wineries would be prohibited for at least three weeks to try and stem the “alarming” rate of coronavirus cases in the nation's most populous county. 

Under the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be limited to take-out, drive-thru and delivery services only. The newest restrictions will take effect at 10 p.m. on Nov. 25. 

Siegel decried the "cruelty" of "using fear to control" and impose restaurant closures right before Thanksgiving. He also noted that the COVID-19 cases traced back to the county's restaurants and bars accounted for just 3.1%, or 70 of the 2,257 total confirmed cases found from 204 "outbreak" locations.

"You know what’s [accounting for] more than seven [percent of cases]? L.A. county buildings, government buildings, they are more than twice the problem," said Siegel, who emphasized that those buildings had not been ordered to close.   

But, "if you are a customer that wants to go to a restaurant in Los Angeles on Wednesday or Thursday ... you can’t do it even with outdoor dining," Siegel said. "Even at a time when it’s 63 degrees today in Los Angeles, you can’t afford to eat outdoors."

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Siegel said the move will primarily affect "poor people" because "the very few cases we’ve seen of COVID-19 are occurring in Domino's, or in Taco Bell, or McDonald's or Burger King.

"That’s who's affected here," he said, "not some beautiful gourmet restaurant in Napa Valley that could send you all the food you want to eat."

Fox News' Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.

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