Pro-Trump Evangelist Franklin Graham is blasting stay-at-home policies around the country and warning Americans “our future and our freedoms” could be in danger.
In a series of rants attacking Democrats and the media, the Christian evangelist, missionary, and highly-paid non-profit CEO told his 8.5 million Facebook followers that even though the coronavirus is dangerous, they should not be afraid because everyone is going to die.
“Each one of us will have to meet death,” Graham wrote on Saturday. “With the dark storm clouds of COVID-19 still hanging low, we need to go on with living our lives and doing our work, while taking personal responsibility. Social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks in public places—all of these precautions are important.”
That same day Graham showed his commitment to social distancing and mask-wearing:
He went on to spread an anti-Trump conspiracy theory, saying, “fear and anxiety can be very detrimental to one’s health as well. No matter how negative the reports are from the media and liberal politicians who want to use the coronavirus to destroy President Donald J. Trump, if we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we don’t have to be afraid. God made us. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, and He knows the number of our days.”
“I am of the opinion that keeping the economy shut down, is doing more damage to people’s lives than COVID-19. In the 60,000+ deaths from COVID-19 nationwide, the majority had underlying health issues, which is true in Italy as well. It is estimated that heart disease will take the lives of 640,000 people across our country this year and cancer is expected to claim over 600,000 lives as well. One thing is 100% certain—we will all die.”
“Many in the left-leaning media want to project the worse-case scenarios relating to COVID-19. It makes great headlines for them—and it produces fear in the public. A recent CNN headline said that the new coronavirus is likely to keep spreading for another 18-24 months, giving ammunition to liberal states who want to keep businesses closed. I agree that COVID-19 may be around for a while—human coronavirus has already been around in some form for many years. But as a nation and as individuals, we have to learn to live with pandemics, whether it’s coronavirus or any other. We can’t hide in a cave until the world is free from every virus or threat.”
Two days later Graham ramped up his attack on the left and the media.
“Here we go again. Another headline by CNN to try to put fear in the minds of readers. What happens if a coronavirus vaccine is never developed? The ‘what-ifs’ could be endless. What if the sky fell tomorrow? There are a lot of hypotheticals being thrown out there that are intended to scare people,” Graham claimed, confusing scientific analysis with fear-mongering.
And in words giving ammunition to stay-at-home protestors and others who dispute the government’s power in health emergencies, Graham falsely suggested stay-at-home policies might be unconstitutional.
“It’s becoming more obvious to people that the response of some in the government is not just about protecting lives, but it’s about control. Never before in our history have those who are well been quarantined rather than those who are sick! I don’t want to minimize the fact that the coronavirus is dangerous. We need to take precautions and we need to exercise personal responsibility. But we also need to be cautious before we say yes to every ban proposed and agree to anything that we think might help protect us from the virus, to make sure that we’re not letting go of some of our constitutional rights. Our response to the coronavirus pandemic could greatly affect our future and our freedoms.”