Trump and His Religious-Right Allies Continue To Send Mixed Messages on Coronavirus

Paula White prays at rally launching Trump's re-election campaign, June 18, 2019

Update: While, as this post notes, David Herzog Ministries recently promoted its Passover 2020 gathering with the declaration that “The Word of God promises us protection” from the coronavirus, the group announced on March 15 that the gathering would be cancelled in response to updated recommendations from Arizona public health officials. The announcement said that an “online enhanced version” of the event is in the works. Before the cancellation was announced, White House adviser Paula White was dropped from the event’s website. Harvest International Ministry has since announced that its Global Summit 2020 has been postponed until August. 

Religious-right leaders and media outlets have been sending mixed messages about the coronavirus pandemic. For some, it is a sign of God’s judgment or evidence that we are living in the End Times. And for others, it is something that has been blown out of proportion by media and politicians who will do anything to bring down President Donald Trump.

As Right Wing Watch has reported, some religious-right leaders have said that Christians should not give in to fear of the virus because God has given them supernatural healing power and protection from plagues. Some believe that God will spare Christians from the virus and that will become evidence of God’s power and a potent tool for evangelization. Evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth has mocked “loser” pastors who cancel services and said Christians should be holding mass gatherings to demonstrate the power of their faith. Organizers of two “prophetic” conferences scheduled for early April announced this week that the events will not be canceled.

Trump himself has been sending mixed messages and promoting misinformation. Even as cultural and sporting events, academic conferences, and large public gatherings were postponed or cancelled as public health officials urged Americans to practice “social distancing” in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Trump continued to conduct business as usual, and his campaign continued to hold and schedule large public rallies. That appeared to change Thursday morning; CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller reported that Trump had scrubbed political trips to Nevada and Colorado that were scheduled for Friday and Saturday, while a decision about a March 25 campaign rally is still pending.

But organizers of two religious-right conferences have not been swayed by the outbreak.

On Wednesday, co-sponsors David Herzog Ministries and the Elijah List sent an email invitation to Passover 2020: Decade of Awakening, a conference scheduled for April 9 – 12 in Phoenix, Arizona, addressing coronavirus fears. Here are excerpts from the email:

Today many people including Believers are in fear of the corona virus among other sicknesses. But the Word of God promises us protection from these very things. We hear reports of a thousand infected but Psalm 91 says, “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.” How seriously do we really believe and know how to activate this?

When the death angel ‘passed-over’ Egypt those Israelites who had the blood on their doorpost were protected. Israel was protected from every plague that was hitting Egypt at the time. This was the 1st Passover.

Jesus’ Last Supper was the last Passover meal he had with His disciples. They were instructed to sacrifice their lamb and then eat it with their family. This was symbolic of the Messiah Jesus that would be our lamb. Jesus’ last supper was also Passover and those who partake of the power of Jesus’ Blood today are also promised protection from every pestilence, virus and plague for those who believe.

Jesus instructed the disciples to continue to ‘keep the feast’ of Passover but in the newness of what He did. He is the reason for the season, as He is our Passover Lamb. His Blood applied to the doorposts of our life is total protection. Psalms 91 clearly tells us that we can claim protection from every pestilence, sickness, untimely death and every plague.

The invitation added that “when we celebrate Passover as Jesus instructed there is a supernatural protection that is activated when we apply Jesus Blood and celebrate the Passover Lamb.” It also invoked the experience of early 20th Century missionary John G. Lake, who some say had divine protection from the bubonic plague that was raging in South Africa during his ministry there.

The invitation made reference to Awaken 2020, a dominionist prayer gathering held at Sun Devil Stadium in Phoenix in January, which featured rapper Kanye West and “prophetic” leaders David Herzog, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, and others. If you missed that gathering, said the Passover 2020 promotion, you have another chance to be part of the launch of a decade of awakening in the U.S. “We are on the cusp of the greatest move of God in America, greater than even the ‘Jesus Movement’ during the 60’s and all the other moves and revivals combined,” the invitation said. “The USA literally is in the beginning stages of a HUGE great Awakening and Harvest!”

It is important to realize that during these “Kairos” (opportune moment, appointed day, due season) times, HUGE things occur in the heavenly realms and situations are shifted into proper alignment and position. So, it is important that we get in sync on Earth with what is happening in Heaven in order to receive the downloads of new glory impartations and revelation God is wanting to pour out on us during these special times of year.

Paula White, Trump’s longtime spiritual adviser and now official White House aide, is among the “anointed” scheduled speakers at Passover 2020. Joining her on the schedule is End Times author Jonathan Cahn, who portrays Donald Trump’s election as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.​ White has a track record of using Passover and other Jewish holy days to promise her followers special spiritual blessings in return for “honoring God” by giving her money.

Organizers of another dominionist gathering, Harvest International Ministry’s Global Summit 2020, announced Wednesday night that the April 13-16 event in Pasadena, California, will take place as planned, with precautions being taken to “mitigate exposure to [the] virus by conference attendees.”

HIM’s Wednesday evening announcement said it would consider refund requests for Global Summit registrants who are subject to travel restrictions or exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory illness as long as those requests included “supporting documentation.”

HIM is led by New Apostolic Reformation leader Ché Ahn and says it is dedicated to “discipling nations.” The Global Summit’s panel on government is scheduled to include Ahn, Christian nationalist political operative David Lane, and California State Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove. Other announced summit speakers include Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs, Robert Henderson, Michael Brown, Mark Chironna and Eric Metaxas.