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Evangelical leader who believes COVID-19 is a ‘gift from god’ unveils strategy to keep Trump in office

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On Saturday, The Intercept detailed a recent gathering of United in Purpose, a far-right evangelical group that plans to get President Donald Trump re-elected in 2020.

One of the group’s donors, Ken Eldred, espoused his beliefs on a call in mid-April.

“’The COVID virus has been a gift from God,’ began Ken Eldred. ‘The kingdom of God advances through a series of glorious victories, cleverly disguised as disasters.’ In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Eldred noted, millions of Americans are turning to Christ, Walmart is selling out of Bibles, and online church broadcasts have hit record numbers,” reported Lee Fang. “But while religiosity was growing, there have been setbacks from the disease outbreak. ‘Satan has been busy too,’ Eldred, a major donor to evangelical and Republican causes, explained. ‘The virus has messed up many of our plans involving our in-person meetings with voters.'”

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He then led the group in a prayer to God to end the deaths — and the group discussed strategy to keep the president in office.

“The group, whose supporters include major donors to conservative causes, pastors, and political operatives with decades of winning elections, is serious about serving as the tip of the spear to maintain control of the White House,” wrote Fang. “UIP’s 2020 election plan — which it calls ‘Ziklag,’ a town referenced in the Bible — is a multipronged effort to connect Trump with evangelical leaders and increase support among minority voters through appeals to faith-based messages and church outreach.”

“And, perhaps most importantly, it plans to use data mining to identify millions of new voters and target them with cheap ads on Facebook,” wrote Fang. “The pandemic, speakers noted on the call, means that they must work overtime to compensate for the effects of mail-in voting.”

Eldred expressed this sentiment clearly when he told his fellows on the call, “The children of the darkness put early voting into this CARES package.”


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