Franklin Graham and his pharisaic Jesus-shouters can still be annoyingly and dangerously sanctimonious and full of hate.
The group building a makeshift tent hospital for coronavirus patients in Manhattan’s Central Park is asking all volunteers to read and follow a “statement of faith,” including rejections of same-sex marriage and abortion.
As the toll of the outbreak on New York continues to increase dramatically, Mount Sinai Health System has been working with the relief group Samaritan’s Purse to open a 68-bed respiratory care unit that will begin treating patients as early as Tuesday.
Praised by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), the tent facility is one of several efforts to expand medical capacity across the city: A 350-bed facility is set to be erected at the Queens tennis arena home of the U.S. Open, while a temporary hospital has been constructed inside a Manhattan convention center.
Yet unlike the other projects, Samaritan’s Purse has asked all volunteers working at the field hospital — including health workers — to pledge to 11 declarations, Gothamist reports, including one that defines marriage as “exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female” and another that says “human life is sacred from conception to its natural end.”
The Christian group was founded by Franklin Graham, a minister with a famous preacher as a father and a history of making incendiary comments, and has specifically sought out Christian medical staff for the tent hospital.
As some local lawmakers questioned whether LGBTQ patients would receive equal treatment, a spokesperson for de Blasio told Gothamist that the field hospital must adhere to Mount Sinai’s nondiscrimination policy.
“Our record on human rights is clear; and we are confident that the joint effort by Mt. Sinai and Samaritan’s Purse will save New Yorkers’ lives while adhering to the values we hold dear by providing care to anyone who needs it, regardless of background,” she wrote to the news blog.
In the middle of this plague, the last thing anyone needs is a bunch of superstitious hatemongers judging those who want to help. Either let everyone who wants to help do their job or get the fuck out.
Meanwhile, Jerry Falwell Jr., who never misses a chance to fleece the flock with the same vengeance and mercilessness of his dead father, spreads not only his poisonous version of ancient fables, he’s spreading coronavirus along with it and supremely ironically proving the theory of both evolution and survival of the fittest.
LYNCHBURG, Va. — As Liberty University’s spring break was drawing to a close this month, Jerry Falwell Jr., its president, spoke with the physician who runs Liberty’s student health service about the rampaging coronavirus.
“We’ve lost the ability to corral this thing,” Dr. Thomas W. Eppes Jr. said he told Mr. Falwell. But he did not urge him to close the school. “I just am not going to be so presumptuous as to say, ‘This is what you should do and this is what you shouldn’t do,’” Dr. Eppes said in an interview.
So Mr. Falwell — a staunch ally of President Trump and an influential voice in the evangelical world — reopened the university last week, igniting a firestorm. As of Friday, Dr. Eppes said, nearly a dozen Liberty students were sick with symptoms that suggested Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Three were referred to local hospital centers for testing. An additional eight were told to self-isolate.
As of 8 p.m. on March 29, of those three students tested, one was positive, one was negative and one student’s results are still pending, according to Dr. Eppes, who added that the student who tested positive for Covid-19 lives off campus.
“Liberty will be notifying the community as deemed appropriate and required by law,” Mr. Falwell said in an interview on Sunday when confronted with the numbers. He added that any student now returning to campus would be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“I can’t be sure what’s going on with individuals who are not being tested but who are advised to self-isolate,” said Kerry Gateley, the health director of the Central Virginia Health District, which covers Lynchburg. “I would assume that if clinicians were concerned enough about the possibility of Covid-19 disease to urge self-isolation that appropriate screening and testing would be arranged.”
After initial publication of this article, the university said it had asked four students who returned from the New York area and two of their roommates to self-quarantine, but none of them were referred for testing and none had symptoms. One student who returned from a county with a high number of cases was running a fever and had a cough. He was tested and elected to go home pending the results rather than self-isolate, the university said.
Of the 1,900 students who initially returned last week to campus, Mr. Falwell said more than 800 had left. But he said he had “no idea” how many students had returned to off-campus housing.
It’s one thing to feel sorry and hope for the best for the students at Liberty; they’re victims of both the coronavirus as well as the scam of religious bigotry. But the people who willfully exposed them to it should be visited by as many plagues as their sky faerie can inflict upon them, and with dispatch.