Photo via Pastor Paula White-Cain
Pastor Paula White-Cain with her husband, Jonathan Cain of Journey
Interesting news, y'all! At the height of Florida's coronavirus outbreak, Trump adviser and local pastor Paula White has reopened her Apopka church.
"Our doors are opened at City of Destiny! Join us in-person for service this Sunday 10 a.m.," White wrote in an email Saturday morning, alerting her flock that the East McCormick Road church opened for Godly business on July 5. That was the day after Florida reported our highest increase in new cases, with 11,458. The second-highest increase just came on Friday, with 11,433 reported. On Saturday, state health officials reported
10,360 new cases, the third-highest same-day total since the pandemic began, and 212 new hospitalizations.
Florida this week was called the epicenter
of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the virus spreading in Florida faster than anywhere else except Arizona. The state on Thursday reported a record-high 120 deaths
, and on Saturday reported 95 new fatalities. The state's total stands at 254,511 infections, with 4,301 people who have died statewide.
In Orange County, where White's church is located, there were 482 cases reported Saturday and two new deaths, a 62-year-old man and a 67-year-old woman. That's reason enough not to bring a bunch of possibly sick people together for an in-person worship session, but at least White appears to be taking the threat more seriously than Donald Trump
, with "a three-fold approach for making the in-house worship experience at the City of Destiny safe, sanitized, and secure."
The first is the use of "cutting edge" Continuous Infectious Microbial Reduction
technology in their air ventilation system that White says "immediately decontaminates and eliminates all pathogens, viruses, and germs, by continuously producing safe levels of hydrogen peroxide."
The second is personal equipment like masks an hand sanitizer, distributed by volunteers who White says will be wearing PPE and masks, along with using a "state of the art, non-invasive infrared temperature station," through which all worshippers shall pass.
Their third strategy is rearranging the sanctuary seating to allow for social distancing, with rows spaced six feet apart. They have suspended their children's church for now, but encourage parishioners to "bring your family and friends and practice social-distancing with us as we gather to worship God!"
Whatever precautions White is planning, it's a big risk for her believers. She has a record of giving her congregants some loony advice, like telling them to pay her instead of their own bills
in February and that defying Trump
is "fighting against hand of God" in 2017. In January, White issued a prayer
for "all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now."
"I want you to be there to be a part, and bring your family!" wrote White. "Let me assure you, we have taken all measures and precautions to make sure that we are a safe environment."
Missing from the announcement
is whether there will be any singing by attendees or a choir — one of the fastest ways unwittingly infected people can spread the virus
— but we'll be watching the live stream
to see, out of morbid curiosity.
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