In conversation with CNN's Ellie Reed broadcast on Thursday, Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee exploded when asked his position on the COVID-19 vaccine, denying that there even was a pandemic at all.
"Faith over fear. I ain't worried about some fake pandemic," said Locke, a pro-Trump preacher who has previously drawn controversy for claiming that history classes in public schools are part of an "Islamic invasion." "I'm not saying the sickness isn't real. I'm saying the pandemic is not."
"I don't understand what you mean when you say the pandemic is not real," said Reed. "What do you think a pandemic is?"
"Not COVID-19," said Locke, who has defied social distancing guidelines and refused to restrict attendance at his church.
"But what do you think a pandemic is?" asked Reed. "Why can't you answer it?"
"There's no pandemic. COVID-19 is not a pandemic," he shot back heatedly.
"But what is a pandemic then?" repeated Reed.
"Not what we're experiencing," said Locke. "I'm 44 years old. We've not had one in my lifetime so I don't know. This is not it." (In fact, there have been several other pandemics besides COVID-19 in Locke's lifetime.)