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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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Melania Trump brags her husband ‘sees potential’ in the gays

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In a bizarre moment, the first lady announced that President Donald Trump is all for gay people.

Speaking to a crowd in Atglen, Pennsylvania, Melania Trump described the president as someone “who sees potential in everyone he meets, no matter their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.”

She didn't use the typical term LGBTQ or even mention transgender people. But mentioning LGBTQ voters likely isn't a good idea in the Trump administration because of the laundry list of things they've done to hurt the community.

“Donald loves helping people and he loves seeing those around him and his country succeed,” Mrs. Trump added, claiming he has a “very big heart and a great sense of humor.”

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2020 Election

‘Dangerously out of touch’: Ex-White House adviser slams Trump and Larry Kudlow for bragging about the economy

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President Donald Trump's top economic and trade adviser Larry Kudlow is "out of touch," according to former White House economist Austan Goolsbee.

Speaking to MSNBC's Katy Tur, Goolsbee explained that Trump's celebration of the GDP is unwarranted because it took such a significant dive. It's a lot like losing $100 and getting back $60, said Tur.

"You score five runs in one inning, that is a good inning, but if you let up ten runs in the inning before that you're still way down," Goolsbee explained. "I think the numbers look very much like what happened in the job market over the summer. Where we started with a 21 million job loss, and we made back a little over half of that. And then we kind of stalled out. We're still adding jobs, but you also saw this morning another epically bad new unemployment claims number. You still have well over 700,000 people filing for unemployment insurance newly this week. Now we're seeing this on the GDP side. Certainly, this is a positive. You would not want a smaller number, but it has to be bigger and more sustained than what we saw today before we can say that we're back to normal."

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2020 Election

Trump supporter ‘carried out on a stretcher’ as heat takes its toll on Tampa rally crowd: ‘Multiple people have passed out’

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Medical personnel provided assistance to supporters of President Donald Trump during his Thursday rally in Tampa, Florida.

Reporters at the scene say that several people suffered heat related ailments.

"It’s hot hot hot at Trump’s large rally. 87 [degrees] and 71% humidity. Have noticed EMTs provide assistance for at least two people in the crowd, one carried out on a stretcher. Staffers trying get water bottles to people but quickly running out and having to restock," said Emily Larsen of Washington Examiner.

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