Will Donald Trump's somber warning on Tuesday, March 31, definitively silence a right-wing coalition of skeptics who has long relativized or denied the reality of the threat, like the President of the United States?
The day after projections of between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could be victims of Covid-19 in the coming months, Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, long reluctant, finally resigned himself to imposing containment of a state where a large proportion of elderly people reside, particularly vulnerable to the pandemic.
Three days earlier, on Sunday March 29, a Pentecostal pastor from Tampa, Florida, Rodney Howard-Browne, had defied the ban on assembly by hosting two services in his giant The River church. He had been briefly imprisoned by county authorities. Tuesday March 31, Tony Spell, pastor of another giant Louisiana church, the Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, held a mass despite a summons received in the afternoon for six violations of a decree from the Democratic Governor, John Bel Edwards, against this type of public demonstrations.
The pastor denounced an attack on religious freedoms and said he would not give in. " We have God's mandate to come together and come together and keep doing what we do "He assured the CNN chain, before stigmatizing a pandemic "Politically motivated".
Resistance of part of the religious right
This resistance of part of the religious right to the precautionary measures adopted to halt the spread of the disease was also verified by the behavior of an evangelical pastor known to be close to the President of the United States, Jerry Falwell Jr.
The latter had decided the previous week to partially reopen the largest evangelical university in the country, Liberty University, in Virginia, after the end of the spring vacation. A specific paragraph of the containment decree signed Monday by state governor Democrat Ralph Northam forced Jerry Falwell Jr. to comply.
On March 10, guest of the conservative Fox News, he mocked the first protective measures, denouncing a move by the Democratic opposition to oust Donald Trump from power. Fox Business host Trish Regan most vehemently defended this thesis, to the point of forcing her management to take it off the air and then fire her on March 27.