Pandemic Denial Sows Division and Endangers Others

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When pastors and church leaders deny that we are even in a pandemic, it can cause wide-ranging problems.

Yesterday, as the United States passed a grim milestone, I tweeted:

As of today, 200,000 dead in the United States. Just a reminder that we are still in a global pandemic, even if your pastor says it is not.

Most pastors were overwhelmingly positive—the tweet was widely shared, with hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes. Many pastors and church leaders indicated they shared the same concern.

However, some were upset. Some pastors felt attacked, which may be understandable if you denied a global pandemic.

If not, there seems to be no reason to see my statement as controversial.

Let me explain.

Pastors who deny the pandemic are wrong and spreading misinformation.

I’ve been trying to understand why some pastors would deny that COVID-19 is a global pandemic. I had hoped that pastors would not be easily fooled by a recent Facebook meme saying this pandemic has been downgraded to an outbreak.

USAToday easily debunked this claim with, “Fact Check: COVID-19 is still a pandemic, even if CDC site calls it an ‘outbreak’

We rate this claim as FALSE. The meme is wrong. No element of it is true. The COVID-19 outbreak, while often described in that way, is still a pandemic and has been since March 11.

And, I hope they did not join in the misunderstanding of the 6% stat, which was not “quietly updated,” and has been clearly debunked by just about everyone in the medical establishment.

As a professor of epidemiology and statistician explained in USAToday:

None of us will live forever, so death is always a matter of when, not if. That many people who have died of COVID-19 may have been closer to death than the rest of us does not change the fact that the virus killed them before their time.To argue that …

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