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Christian pastor who thought COVID-19 is just ‘mass hysteria’ among the first from Virginia to die from virus

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One of the first deaths of a Virginian from coronavirus was a 66-year-old Christian “musical evangelist” who fell ill while on a trip to New Orleans with his wife. As the Friendly Atheist’s Bo Gardiner points out, Landon Spradlin had previously shared opinions that the pandemic was the result of “mass hysteria” from the media.

On March 13, Spradlin shared a misleading meme that compared coronavirus deaths to swine flu deaths and suggested the media is using the pandemic to hurt Trump. In the comments, Spradlin acknowledged that the outbreak is a “real issue,” but added that he believes “the media is pumping out fear and doing more harm than good”

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“It will come and it will go,” he wrote.

That same day, he shared a post from another pastor that told the story of a missionary in South Africa who “protected” himself from the bubonic plague with the “Spirit of God.”

“As long as I walk in the light of that law [of the Spirit of life], no germ will attach itself to me,” read a quote from the post.

The Danville Register & Bee reported:

On March 17, Jean and Landon Spradlin were returning home from a traveling ministry in New Orleans because he hadn’t been feeling well. Landon Spradlin had both bronchitis and a small case of pneumonia, and had already tested negative for the coronavirus while in New Orleans.

The pneumonia, however, got worse. He wasn’t breathing right when Jean Spradlin tried to pull her husband out of the car during a stop in Concord, North Carolina.

“When I got his feet on the ground they crumpled,” she said.

Bystanders at a convenience store called 911 and he was transported to Atrium Health Cabarrus, a hospital in Concord. Doctors placed him on a ventilator and diagnosed him with double pneumonia — meaning both lungs were infected.

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Spradlin tested positive for COVID-19 in the hospital and died on Wednesday.


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One of COVID-19’s unlisted side effects: An increase in police power

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As governments across the globe expand mass surveillance programs in the name of public health, activist and whistleblower Edward Snowden warns that we are watching them build "the architecture of oppression." Perhaps more insidious are new measures that simply expand the power and discretion of the police to "enforce social distancing" in the name of flattening the curve — many of which were passed swiftly in just the past few weeks.

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Women on the frontline: Nurses are patients’ last contact before passing away

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Every night, from their balconies and windows, the French publicly applaud healthcare workers and nursing staff on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19. In France, nearly 90 percent of nurses are female. So how are these women coping with this unprecedented crisis? FRANCE 24 spoke to four of them.

"For the moment, our most important mission is to help patients but if this continues, they will have to find cannon fodder elsewhere," said Leslie, a palliative care nurse in Marseille, working 12 hours a day to care for people at the end of their life.

Like all hospitals and clinics in France, her department is constantly receiving critical Covid-19 cases: "We have drastically reduced visits, so imagine telling families, who know their loved ones are at the end of their life, that they have no right to see them. Psychologically, this is incredibly difficult for us. We are their only contact before they die. "

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‘Appetizing opportunity’: Alleged quack doctor advising Trump wants to open schools – ‘may only cost us 2% to 3%’ more lives

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Mehmet Cengiz Öz, better known to America's TV viewers as Dr. Oz, is calling for the nation's schools to be re-opened despite the coronavirus pandemic that has already killed over 34,000 Americans. He argues that the cost will be "only" an additional 2% to 3% in additional lives lost as a result – a "tradeoff" he suggested that would be worthwhile to get the economy re-opened.

"Schools are a very appetizing opportunity," Dr. Oz told Sean Hannity (video below). "I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing the opening of schools may only cost us 2% to 3% in terms of total mortality," Dr. Oz, who is actually a real, albeit "celebrity" doctor, said Wednesday.

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