In a direct contradiction of an order from Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards against large gatherings in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, a Baton Rouge area church welcomed in hundreds of parishioners for a service this Tuesday.
Speaking to WAFB, Rev. Tony Spell said that police warned him that the National Guard would break up any future services that hold more than 50 people. But according to Louisiana National Guard Colonel Ed Bush, that claim is not accurate.
“The National Guard has not been tasked with enforcing any of the curfew, social distancing or meeting requirements as set by the governor,” Colonel Bush said. “Our focus right now is completely with helping state agencies with preparedness and medical readiness.”
Despite numerous churches across the state shuttering their operations, Spell says he’s not concerned.
“The virus, we believe, is politically motivated,” he said. “We hold our religious rights dear and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says.”
According to WAFB, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore says those violating the governor’s order ultimately could face prosecution, but Spell is holding firm, even bragging about the number of attendees he’s bringing in.
“I had 1,170 in attendance Sunday,” Spell said. “We have 27 buses on Sundays picking up people in a five-parish area.”
He then took his bragging a step further, claiming that those who attend his church can be healed of an array of sicknesses.
“Our church is a hospital where the sick can come and get healing,” he said. “Cancers are healed here, people are healed of HIV in these services. … And tonight, we’re also going to pass out anointed handkerchiefs to people who may have fear, who may have a sickness — and we believe that when those anointed handkerchiefs go, a healing virtue is going to go on them as well.”
Bolstering Spell’s defiance is U.S. Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA), who sent a letter to the Governor saying his order limiting church services is unconstitutional.
“I agree that all our constituents and religious leaders should follow the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC),” Higgins wrote. “However, the decision to gather should be the choice of the individual or institution and not a mandate by any government entity. The state has no authority to enforce this proclamation nor any ban on worship.”
District Attorney Moore hopes that he won’t have to end up prosecuting anybody.
“Summonses and prosecution will be the least favorable means to have well intended people comply,” he said.
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Fox News Host Blasted After Saying ‘People Are Dying, and I Realize That’ — but ‘Women…Can’t Get Their Nails Done’
Thursday’s “Fox & Friends” featured insight into how the rich on the right a struggling to deal with the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 1000 people in the U.S., where there are more than 68,000 confirmed cases. A record 3.3 million people filed for unemployment this past week.
“I live in the city,” Ainsley Earhardt told her co-hosts. “You can’t go back to the city – you can, but I don’t want to, I don’t want to be around the area that’s infected the most,” she said. The New York City region is now the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.
“But I’m thinking like all the bills that are stacking up at my apartment. You know, we’ve got to think about that kind of thing. If you bought clothing before all this happened and you want to return it, are stores going to, you know, waive that 30 day period where you can get your money back if you need to return something?”
“These are all the things. Women – y’all don’t think about this, guys, but – this is not a priority, but women have to get their hair done. I saw someone tweet out, ‘You’re gonna see what color our real hair is because our roots are going to grow in.’ Women – all my friends are saying, this is not a priority, people are dying and I realize that – but they can’t get their nails done.”
“You know, businesses are closed everywhere. We’re in priority mode right now. It’s pharmacies and it is grocery stores – those are really the only places that people are going now.”
“all my friends are saying you know, this is not a priority, people are dying and i realize that, but they can’t get their nails done” pic.twitter.com/UnkqFdvvmp
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) March 26, 2020
Here’s how some are responding:
Remember this the next time you hear that elderly Americans have to be risked to re-start the economy. https://t.co/9OXavyWr0H
— Robert E Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly) March 26, 2020
Narcissistic blindness is very difficult to overcome. https://t.co/qnSclkpPt4
— Aunt Emma (@yourauntemma) March 26, 2020
Says the woman able to flee her apartment in the city for a home outside of the epicenter of a pandemic. https://t.co/mK2nPmxx2c
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) March 26, 2020
Forget the people who can’t get tested or the doctors/nurses working through exhaustion. Forget those who have to die alone. Kim’s biggest fear about coronavirus is that people will realize that she’s not a natural blonde because she can’t get her hair done.#FoxNewsWillKillUsAll
— James (@JamesSNYC) March 26, 2020
My friend is a hairdresser and her salon will be closed for at least another month. She contacted all of her clients and more than a few are angry at her because they have ‘events’ coming up and need their hair done. She’s like ‘have you not watched the news? SMDH. https://t.co/ohngf3hJkB
— Kat K 🐾🐾 (@HIHKatharine) March 26, 2020
When someone asks for the definition of “privilege,” show them this video. https://t.co/GVX25gmKlq
— Corey Rayburn Yung (@CoreyRYung) March 26, 2020
She’s basically saying people need to get back to work so they can service her. I hate this person. I truly hate this woman.
— Michelle Bhasin (@michellebhasin) March 26, 2020
Beyond parody https://t.co/7hLN0i5fk5
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 26, 2020
.@ainsleyearhardt there are nurses on the front line in NYC wearing fucking trash bags in attempt to protect themselves -the best they can- and you’re discussing the inability to go get nails done. My gawd lady, MAGAts don’t come any dumber than you. https://t.co/0uCiRY07lW
— Rob Wagner 😷😷🍸🍸 (@wagner_rob) March 26, 2020
“Grandma, how did you survive The Great Inconvenience of 2020? Is it true that you couldn’t book a manicure for weeks?” — Future Grandchildren of Privilege
— Gary Wright (@ItsMeGaryLee) March 26, 2020
No words https://t.co/uTQ8y3Jtxt
— Elizabeth Joh (@elizabeth_joh) March 26, 2020
Hot take: the real crisis of #COVID19 is rooted in a diversion & inclusion argument. This is a crisis of empathy. This is an inability of some people of privilege to see themselves in the lives & experiences of ‘other’ – in this case, anyone touched by this disease. https://t.co/sQd1voXohK
— Lorimer Shenher (@ShenherLorimer) March 26, 2020
I swear the first qualification for Fox job applicants has to be “Terrible Person.”
— Wulfpack08 (@gottateach2136) March 26, 2020
Maybe get better friends then? https://t.co/WjP4Qeyly2
— Max Fawcett (@maxfawcett) March 26, 2020
Are ‘Coronavirus Parties’ Going to Spread? Right Wing Websites Suggests Intentionally Infecting Americans
On Monday the governor of Kentucky chastised an unnamed resident who attended an actual “coronavirus party,” and became infected.
“Anyone who goes to something like this, may think that they are indestructible,” Governor Andy Beshear said, restraining his anger. “But it’s someone else’s loved one that they are going to hurt.”
And now a well-known right wing website is suggesting intentionally infecting those who do not have COVID-19 with “the mildest form” of the deadly coronavirus in a “socially and medically responsible” manner similar to antediluvian “chickenpox parties.”
“It is time to think outside the box and seriously consider a somewhat unconventional approach to COVID-19: controlled voluntary infection,” The Federalist says on Twitter.
The Federalist, co-founded by Ben Domenech, a regular guest on NBC’s and MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” and the spouse of Meghan McCain, on Tuesday published the article: “How Medical ‘Chickenpox Parties’ Could Turn The Tide Of The Wuhan Virus.” Its author, Douglas A. Perednia, is a Portland, Oregon dermatologist. (NCRM will not link to the article.)
The author appears to have created the term “Controlled Voluntary Infection,” which he calls “CVI,” and which is misspelled on The Federalist’s website:
(Google was unable to find the term “Controlled Voluntary Infection” anywhere else but The Federalist’s website.)
Perednia wants these coronavirus parties to be fun: “one could imagine CVI even becoming a social activity,” he advocates.
His program includes keeping a list of everyone in the nation who has been infected and who has not: “For the first time, we would have a handle on exactly who in the population has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, and their immune status.”
But contemplating the “limitations,” Perednia wonders if American society will “allow people the freedom to participate in CVI programs?”
And he asks: “Will we allow parents to make these sorts of infection decisions for both themselves and their children?”
There’s another limitation Perednia does not include.
“It’s unclear whether people who recover from COVID-19 will be immune to reinfection from the coronavirus and, if so, how long that immunity will last,” according to NPR.
Fox News Reporter Calls It the ‘Great American Resurrection’ After Trump Insists He Wants Americans Back at Work ‘By Easter’
President Donald Trump shocked Fox News reporters when he declared he would “love to have” Americans return to work and the country opened “by Easter.” Experts have made clear it will likely take at least months to get coronavirus under control, and over a year until a vaccine can be put into mass production.
“I would love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter,” Trump insisted, noting the religious significance of the date.
“We’re opening up this incredible country, because we have to do that,” Trump said from outside the White House during a Fox News town hall. “I’d love to have it opened by Easter. I’d love to have that – it’s such an important day for other reasons.”
“Oh wow,” Fox News’ Harris Faulkner said, apparently stunned when she heard the President say “Easter,” given how soon the day is.
Anchor Bill Hemmer then declared it would be “a great American resurrection,” a nod to the biblical claim of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which Easter commemorates.
Easter this year falls on April 12, which is less than three weeks away.
It’s important to note that Trump doesn’t actually have the power to open the country up, given that governors and mayors have issued the orders and policies telling residents to stay at home. Some cities or towns are under emergency orders for residents to stay at home.
Trump on ending social distancing: “I would love to have it opened by Easter.” (That’s April 12)
“That would be a great American resurrection,” host Bill Hemmer replies. pic.twitter.com/G1AhP1biNI
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2020
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