MSNBC's Rachel Maddow went off on a right-wing pastor in Maine who officiated a wedding where he got the coronavirus and has since spread it across a town that had been mostly untouched by the virus. At least, the town was largely untouched until now.
The beautiful mountainous town of Millinocket, Maine, is now ground zero after two counties in Maine had only 150 cases of COVID-19 over six months. Currently, 143 new COVID-19 cases are traced back to a wedding with 62 people in attendance. It's the largest outbreak in the entire state.
"One young person got in infected at that wedding infected their parents, and that parent infected a child at a senior center," said Maddow. "They now have multiple staff and patients infected. Another wedding guest was an employee at the York County Jail. As of yesterday that led to, we learned that led to 19 staff and 35 prisoners being infected at York County Jail. The members of the jail are up to 68 cases now among employees and prisoners and again traced back to that wedding. At the venue itself, multiple staff members tested positive. And at the local schools, students are becoming infected, and a teacher working at the wedding reception turned up on-site to prepare for the school year, and there are multiple infections at the school among both staff and students. So, that means they'll not be opening schools at Millinocket when they thought they would."
Maddow went on to cite an elderly couple that had been hiding out in a wood cabin at Lake Cedar. They've been isolated for months, knowing that they were at high risk.
"Well, their community used to be a low-risk place," Maddow said of the town. "She was 83 years old and died at the local hospital. He was hospitalized two days after his wife died. The other place that one wedding resulted in an outbreak is a town called Sandford, Maine. It is not in the same area. The guy that officiated came from Sandford, Maine. He flew himself in to conduct that wedding and flew home. The Maine CDC announced on Saturday they're investigating a new outbreak at that pastor's church. The town also now has an outbreak at the local fire department. You see how these things go. It goes from 0 to 60, really fast. It is a super contagious infectious disease."
At the wedding where the pastor officiated, no one was wearing a mask or taking any precautions.
"All derived from this one congregated event where people got together and did not wear masks," Maddow continued. "It turns into a super-spreading event that created the biggest outbreak in Maine, and everybody learned about this, and public health authority tracking all this down. This pastor officiated the service where all these outbreaks came from, and infections came from, and all these institutions happen to be shut down, and one person is dead already. This pastor learned this weekend that his home church where he came home too is being investigated for an outbreak because they've got multiple cases there, too."
On Saturday, he learned about the outbreak in the town. On Sunday, he held multiple in-person church services because he doesn't believe the coronavirus is real.
"It matters where people get their information," Maddow explained. "It matters what people are hearing, who they accept as leaders."
The pastor told the Boston Globe, "I want the people of God to enjoy liberty." At least one 83-year-old Mainer will never enjoy her "liberty" again, and her husband may not be far behind her. It's hard to have liberty when you're dead due to a reckless pastor who doesn't believe in science.
“I’ll tell you what the world wants all the churches to do,” Bell told the Globe, echoing the words of President Donald Trump. “They want us to shut down, go home and let people get used to that just long enough until we can finally stop the advancing of the Gospel.”
Pastor Bell's Twitter account is now protected after being attacked on the site, but he's an avid supporter of the president's, tweeting for his followers to pray for Trump. Dr. Anthony Fauci came out to correct what the pastor has said about the virus.
See Maddow's takedown below: