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Trump-loving megachurch pastor arrested for packing church with hundreds despite COVID-19 warnings

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Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne (Facebook)

A Florida megachurch pastor was arrested on Monday after repeatedly flouting warnings by local officials not to hold services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced the arrest warrant Monday issued against Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, who led crowded services Sunday at his at The River at Tampa Bay Church, reported WTVT-TV.

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“His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk and thousands of residents who may interact with them this week in danger,” Chronister said.

Howard-Browne, an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, refused to close its doors despite a “safer at home” order issued by the county meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

“They are trying to beat me up, you know, over having the church operational,” Howard-Browne said on a livestream of Sunday’s services. “But we are not non-essential.”

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The pastor was charged with unlawful assembly in violation of public health emergency rules, a second-degree misdemeanor, and State attorney Andrew Warren warned that others could also face charges for disobeying public health orders.

Records show he was was booked into a local jail and released about 40 minutes later after posting $500 bail.

The sheriff estimated 400 to 500 worshipers packed Sunday’s services, and he chastised Howard-Browne for telling his followers that the coronavirus was a hoax.

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“I was appalled and also frightened at the fact that those individuals were thinking and believing they were doing the right thing,” Chronister said. “How many people are they going to infect if they have this #COVID19 now that they’re going to spread it back to the community as they return back to where they live?”

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2020 Election

Trump can ‘rage from the balcony’ but he ‘will not succeed’: Dem super lawyer promises to protect the vote

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President Donald Trump has a lot of options available to him when it comes to his attempt to steal the election. That doesn't mean they'll work, however.

In an interview with Democratic "super-lawyer" Bob Bauer, "The Circus's" John Heilemann listed a few scenarios for Trump trying to steal the election.

"We already have an electoral infrastructure -- a voting system -- that is not always adequately resourced or supported," Bauer explained. "You take that system, you layer on top of it a pandemic, you lay on top of that destructive behavior by one of the major political parties who espouses this kind of nonsense, and you add on top of that the internet-distributed misinformation plays, and that just means that the task that you have to address these contingencies is much larger than it's been as a structural matter any time in the past."

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2020 Election

Will American elections ever again be legitimate?

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Only an established, legal “right to vote“ can defeat Republican voter suppression.

Republican politicians and conservative commentators are shocked, shocked! that Chief Justice John Roberts would say that people who voted before election day in Pennsylvania but their ballots were delayed by Lewis DeJoy’s sabotage of the Post Office should have their vote counted.

Increasingly, this election is coming down to the simple question of how effective 40 years of concerted Republican voter suppression efforts will be.

Their main strategy, particularly since George and Jeb Bush got together in 2000 to use a Texas felon list to purge 90,000 Black people off voting roles in Florida, has been removing the names of people who are legitimate voters.

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2020 Election

Melania Trump cancels appearance at Pennsylvania rally due to ‘lingering cough’

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First Lady Melania Trump has cancelled an appearance at a Pennsylvania rally with President Donald Trump due to her ongoing COVID-19 symptoms.

The first lady was slated to travel with the president on Tuesday to her first rally since receiving the COVID-19 diagnosis.

"Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today," a statement from the First Lady's Office said.

CONFIRMED: Melania Trump will no longer accompany her husband to PA tonight, per her spokeswoman: "Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today."

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