Amid the global COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, right-wing megachurch pastor Rodney Howard-Browne held Sunday services at his The River church in Tampa Bay, Florida, where he spent a good portion of his sermon spreading baseless conspiracy theories about the virus.
Howard-Browne, who was among evangelical leaders who laid hands upon and prayed over President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in 2017, insisted that holding services during the outbreak was a matter of constitutional principle and vowed to take the issue “all the way to the Supreme Court” should the government instruct churches to cease holding in-person services in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Repeatedly referring to the outbreak as a “phantom plague,” Howard-Browne insisted that the virus was created by the Chinese government while panic about it was fomented by the media because “they are run by the communists,” all in order to benefit “the money cartel” that supposedly made billions off the collapse of the U.S economy.
“So you produce this plague, you bring it into this country, and then it doesn’t have to be everywhere because the more they test, the more they’ll find people positive,” he said. “There’s a 75 percent chance that the positive [test] is actually a negative, and that’s the problem. The testing is not verifiable.”
Howard-Browne insisted that any discovery of a vaccine will be a sham designed to enrich pharmaceutical companies while also persecuting those, like the majority of his congregation, who will refuse to get the vaccine.
He added that this entire outbreak was “planned” at an event held last year in New York that was organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and that “the decision to launch the pandemic was made at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020.”
“It’s all the deep state traitors that have surrounded our president on every side that are feeding him misinformation,” Howard-Browne said. “We are probably looking at a globalist take down of America as we speak … because America would not buy into the climate change, melting polar caps nonsense. The president pulled us out of the Paris climate accord. Through this pandemic, the World Health Organization is coming in basically as medical tyranny, and they’re taking over and producing an international standard for law that governs countries.”
Howard-Browne warned that the WHO will eventually mandate coronavirus vaccinations and that those who refuse to take the vaccine will be unable to travel or even participate in the economy.
“We are in World War III right now,” he declared, adding that China intentionally released the virus in order to tank the economy, which will allow them to swoop in and buy up struggling American companies. “And the media is complicit in this biological attack.”
For good measure, Howard-Browne closed things out by asserting that military forces have been deployed around the country in preparation for a war that is about to be launched against the United States by Russia, China, and Iran.
“I am talking about a war,” he said. “An attack on our shores.”