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Pastor who discouraged mask-wearing is now in the ICU recovering from coronavirus

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An Idaho pastor who encouraged congregants to forgo masks as he opened his church for in-person services during the height of the coronavirus pandemic is now recovering in the intensive care unit after contracting the virus, The Spokesman Review reports.

Pastor Paul Van Noy of Candlelight Christian Fellowship has been in the ICU for the past two weeks. His wife, Brenda, also contracted the virus.

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In past Facebook posts, Van Noy said that he would not require congregants to wear masks, even though Kootenai County mandated mask wearing. He also expressed skepticism over the efficiency of masks.

“It is true that COVID-19 cases are in escalation here in our community and that the virus is real,” Van Noy wrote on July 17. “However, the panic to ‘stop the world’ or mandate public compliance … is causing untold problems and pushback that will not be helpful.”

“We need to keep our doors open, activities occurring and fellowship active,” he added. “Moreover, closing down churches, businesses, and services is certainly not the answers to the concerns.”

Even after Van Noy’s diagnosis, his church is remaining firm on their mask policy.

“The position is, if you feel comfortable wearing a mask, you can. If you’re not comfortable wearing a mask, you don’t have to,” church official Eric Reade said. “Nobody is going to be criticized for whatever decision they make.”

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According to the Spokesman Review, Brenda Van Noy has a history of posting a “mixture of heath updates and conspiracy theories, many of which have been flagged by Facebook as untrue.” But in the wake of her illness, she acknowledged that she underestimated the threat of the virus.

“I haven’t taken this Covid seriously enough. I’m humbled. I have Covid and some of my friends have Covid now but more seriously my husband is in critical care in ICU with Covid and it is serious. Please take this serious. Pray for healing. Love each other. Pray for those who have lost loved ones because of this EVIL virus!” she wrote Sept. 4.


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‘Signs of a coming conflict are everywhere’: Why a 2nd Civil War would be quite different from the 1st

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In 2020, the United States has been rocked by everything from a deadly pandemic and a brutal recession to civil unrest in a long list of cities to fears that violent conflicts will occur either on Election Day or after the election. Journalist Matthew Gault, in an article published by Vice this week, wonders if the political divisions in the United States run so deep that the country is headed for another civil war.

Describing the unrest that has occurred this year, Gault writes, "People are marching in the streets, aligned with two ideologically distinct factions. Many of them, overwhelmingly from one side, are armed, and violence and death has resulted when these two sides have clashed. The signs of a coming conflict are everywhere."

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2020 Election

A fake ‘intelligence staffer’ crafted the groundwork for the Trump conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden

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It's unclear why President Donald Trump and his allies have chosen to attack Vice President Joe Biden's last living son as a key tenant to the 2020 reelection instead of focusing on his opponent himself. But according to a well-researched NBC News report by Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny, the "documents," actually came from a fake person that never existed using a profile photo created by an artificial intelligence face generator.

Months ago, there was a fake "intelligence" document about Hunter Biden that popped up online along with tons of "files" from a supposed laptop. None of it was real and it has all been dismissed by Trump's own associates as fake. But now it's being revealed that the company behind the effort was a fake "intelligence firm" called Typhoon Investigations, researchers and public documents revealed.

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BUSTED: Commerce Secretary was on board of Chinese joint venture — while running Trump’s trade war

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On Thursday, Foreign Policy reported that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross remained on the board of a Chinese joint venture — even while he was tasked with overseeing President Donald Trump's trade war.

"In Chinese corporate documents obtained by Foreign Policy, Ross is listed as serving on the board of a Chinese joint venture until January 2019 — nearly two years into his term as commerce secretary," reported Isaac Stone Fish. "That joint venture, now called Huaneng Invesco WLR (Beijing) Investment Fund Management Co., is an investment partnership formed in September 2008 between Huaneng Capital Services, the U.S. management company Invesco, and a firm Ross founded, WL Ross & Co. Huaneng Capital Services is an arm of China Huaneng Group, a major state-owned power producer."

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