Pastors Defying Orders
A second church pastor is under fire after insisting he will keep holding Sunday mass despite government orders to avoid large gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CNN. Pastor Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was issued a misdemeanor summons for six counts of violating the governor’s recent executive orders, but said it will not stop him from keeping the church doors open. “We will continue to have church,” Spell said. “This is a government overreach. They are asking us as a government to stop practicing our freedom of religion. And we have a mandate from God to assemble and to gather together and to keep doing what we’re doing.” Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran later responded, “This is not an issue over religious liberty, and it’s not about politics. We are facing a public health crisis and expect our community’s leaders to set a positive example and follow the law.” On Monday, Florida deputies also arrested a Tampa pastor who has continued to hold large services despite government orders.
Dr. Fauci Donuts
Several Donut Crazy locations in Connecticut are selling donuts with the face of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the current director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on each donut, according to the Hartford Courant. Dr. Fauci is part of the White House’s coronavirus task force and has been praised in recent days for his calm demeanor and factual assertions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The donuts are Boston cream and are decorated with chocolate glaze, white frosting and red, white and blue sprinkles to honor the doctor for his work. For each donut sold, one donut will be donated to healthcare workers across the state on the front lines of the pandemic. Deliveries so far have been made to UConn Health, Hartford Hospital and several other hospitals and testing facilities. The donuts sell for $1.95 apiece and can be found at any of Donut Crazy’s Connecticut locations in New Haven, Shelton, Westport, West Hartford, Stratford and Branford.
A United States Navy hospital ship known as the USNS Comfort docked in Manhattan at Pier 90 on Monday in order to treat non-coronavirus patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic and overflow at nearby hospitals due to the spread, according to Fox 5 New York. The onboard hospital has 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms and a full medical staff ready to treat patients in the pandemic’s new epicenter. Mayor Bill de Blasio originally said the ship would take two weeks to travel from Virginia to Manhattan, but it arrived several days earlier and is now being prepped to take patients.
Applause in New York
— Doug Gordon (@BrooklynSpoke) March 27, 2020
Last Friday and Saturday evening at exactly 7 p.m., a large number of quarantined New Yorkers stood on their balconies to clap for healthcare workers and first responders fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Fox 5 New York. The applause, which lasted several minutes and was documented on social media through videos and pictures, started after a hashtag trended online called #clapbecausewecare. New York state is the current epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and several hospitals are already at capacity or overwhelmed by patients.
Florida Quarantine Order
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order on Wednesday after President Trump extended the social distancing guidelines to an additional 30 days, according to CNBC News. DeSantis was met with pushback in recent weeks after he refused to close crowded beaches and other populated areas in order to slow the spread of the virus. “Even though there’s a lot of places in Florida with very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now,” DeSantis said at a press briefing after the announcement. Like other states that have instituted stay-at-home orders, Florida residents will still be able to leave their homes for essential trips but are otherwise strongly urged to remain at home if necessary.
Taylor Harton is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.