Idaho pastor skeptical of masks lands in the ICU for Covid-19
A pastor in Idaho who called himself a "no-masker" during aserviceand repeatedly questioned the veracity ofcoronavirus case reportingis in the ICU after contracting Covid-19.
Paul Van Noy, senior pastor at Candlelight Church in Coeur d'Alene, has spent two weeks in the hospital with a Covid-19 diagnosis, ministry coordinator Eric Reade confirmed to CNN. Five other church staff were infected with coronavirus, too, but they've all recovered, he said.
"At present I feel OK but still need quite a bit of oxygen support -- especially if and when I try to get up out of the bed," he said in a statement through the church.
His wife also contracted Covid-19 but wasn't hospitalized, according to the church. The couple are two of over 3,050 cases in the Northwest Idaho area, localhealth datashows.
Candlelight Church shut its doors temporarily in March but reopened for in-person services in early May. Van Noy's church doesn't require parishioners to wear masks, though they're welcome to, Reade told CNN.
In aJuly 22 servicethat was posted online, Van Noy said while he doesn't mind if other people wear masks, he didn't "want to be told" he needed to wear a mask.
He also said he wouldn't comply if the city ordered him to halt in-person services, though the church also livestreams its services. Nationwide, church leaders have beenfined-- and evenarrested-- forholding servicesduring the pandemic.
In aJuly Facebook post, Van Noy falsely claimed that wearing masks doesn't prevent Covid-19 transmission, and he urged his parishioners not to fear the "cause or effect of Covid-19."
"May we keep our heads at a time like this," Van Noy wrote. "And, may we defend our freedoms lest they quickly disappear. We will not close down our church, we will not stop singing praises to the Lord, and we will not be required to wear masks or refrain from allowing those who wish to wear one the opportunity."
Van Noy's church willsoon host two controversial figureswho've flouted coronavirus guidelines and questioned mask mandates:Charlie Kirk, founder of theconservative student group Turning Point USA, and Rob McCoy, a California pastor who was fined for holding indoor church services despite Covid-19 restrictions. The men will speak at services later this month to "work to make sense of what the church's proper role in America can and should be in the face of increasing opposition and cultural animosity."
Pacific Northwest newspaper the Spokesman-Reviewreported that the event with Kirk and McCoy will be held in-person.
Indeed Centrist. This made a big media splash here in Spokane, let me tell you. The difference in covid attitudes between Washington State and Idaho is staggering, with regards to so many things, covid among them!
@Tom5678 wrote: Indeed Centrist. This made a big media splash here in Spokane, let me tell you. The difference in covid attitudes between Washington State and Idaho is staggering, with regards to so many things, covid among them
Thank you for the insight, Tom.
That's the same here in Minnesota and the Dakota's.
My latest custom made bumpersticker....
"Minnesota....if we were any whiter they'd call us East Dakota!"
"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see numbers on how many trump “no masks” supporters have been infected, hospitalized, or have died. trump’s actions against masks, testing, and medical authorities, are sheer stupidity...there has not been even a whiff of wisdom shown by trump.
When the Pastor gets out of the hospital, do you think he'll wear a mask?
Trump has turned a health issue, a national pandemic, into a political issue. Wearing a mask is a health rule and is no different than speed limits or double yellow lines requiring you to drive on the right side of the road. Wearing a mask is not a Constitutional issue.