American Pastor John MacArthur, the senior pastor of Los Angeles’ Grace Community Church, made a startling statement on Sunday, August 30th claiming “There is no pandemic”.
He based his conclusion on CDC (Center for Disease Control) report that only 6% of U.S. deaths attributed to COVID-19 listed the virus as the only cause of death.
The remaining 94% listed additional underlying health conditions known as “co-morbidities.”
But according to health experts, MacArthur made quite a jump to conclude that, of the estimated 160,000 U.S. deaths examined in the CDC’s report, only 9,210 were due to COVID-19, and all the rest died of something else.
It is in fact, a wrong assumption and this makes it rather alarming.
As of Monday, August 31st, 6 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 including 700,000 Californians, and an estimated 184,000 Americans have died from it.
When recording the reasons for a patient’s death, doctors list all factors leading to the person’s demise — but the virus remains the main reason they died.
MacArthur’s non-denominational church has been defying California’s ban on large indoor meetings without masks or social distancing.
In doing so, the church appears to be wading into a highly politicized campaign to minimize or outright deny the existence of the coronavirus.
Recently, MacArthur told President Trump in a phone conversation that “any real, true believer” of Christianity will be forced to vote for him over Biden in November.
Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College, who first wrote about MacArthur’s sermon and is tracking churches that have experienced outbreaks, said MacArthur believes elements of the U.S. government are trying to shut down Christian worship.
He said :
“Ultimately, he thinks the pandemic narrative is intended to attack the church,”.
The claim about the CDC report may have come from Jenna Ellis, the lawyer representing MacArthur’s church.
Ellis, who is also senior legal adviser to President Trump’s 2020 campaign, tweeted a story from The Gateway Pundit, a far right website that wrote a story about the CDC report, titled “shock report.”
The Gateway Pundit likely picked up the story from followers of QAnon, the sprawling internet conspiracy theory that has taken hold among some of President Trump’s supporters.
A tweet about the CDC report originally posted by “Mel Q,” a follower of QAnon, and retweeted by Trump, was taken down.
This is not the first time that a church leader has opined that the whole COVID-19 issue is a hoax.
In fact, over the past few lock-down months, a number of pastors have claimed the pandemic to be some sort of political propaganda.
The extent to which this is true or untrue is yet to be determined, in the meantime, we hope and pray to God that this passes soon.