A Virginia pastor who shared a Facebook post calling media attention around the coronavirus “mass hysteria” meant to hurt Donald Trump has now died after contracting the virus.
As Raw Story reported, 66-year-old pastor and “musical evangelist” Landon Spradlin had shared a Facebook post that compared the attention surrounding the coronavirus outbreak under Donald Trump to the H1N1 virus that spread during Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, deeming the media attention around COVID-19 to be “mass hysteria.” Trump himself also blamed Obama in the early days of the spread of the virus, saying his administration left inadequate measures in place to address an outbreak.
The post, which was popular on social media, was written just after the number of coronavirus cases in the United States had topped 1,000 and not long after President Trump had made a series of statements downplaying the spread of the virus. In the early days, Trump predicted that the number of cases in the United States would soon go down to zero, but in the weeks that followed it has instead spread rapidly. The United States late this week became the country with the most cases in the world, topping 81,000 confirmed cases and now more than 1,100 deaths.
As WBTV reported, Spradlin fell ill while returning home to Virginia after a trip to New Orleans with his wife, Jean. His condition worsened last week, and he was taken to a hospital with difficulty breathing. He was tested for coronavirus, and the next day the test returned a positive result.
He remained in the hospital and died on Wednesday, family members said.
Spradlin also appeared confident that God could protect people from the spread of the virus, with Raw Story noting that he shared a post from a pastor who wrote about a missionary in South Africa “protected” fro the bubonic plague by the “Spirit of God.”
“As long as I walk in the light of that law [of the Spirit of life], no germ will attach itself to me,” the post read.