A self-described “no-masker” Pastor Lands in ICU With Covid; and an Ex-White House Aide Blasts Trump, Backs Biden in Support of “country over party.”
An Idaho pastor described himself as a “no-masker” during recent services. He was known for repeatedly questioning the veracity of COVID-19 case reporting. However, he is now in the ICU after contracting the coronavirus.
Paul Van Noy, a senior pastor at Candlelight Church in Coeur d’Alene, has currently spent two weeks in the hospital with his diagnosis. Ministry coordinator Eric Reade confirmed to CNN that five other members of the church staff were also infected. However, they have since recovered.
Van Noy said he’ll be moved out of ICU soon, according to a comment shared through Candlelight Church.
“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,” said Van Noy.
In a service that was posted online on June 22, Van Noy said he was okay with other people wearing masks. But he didn’t “want to be told” to wear one himself. In a July post, he falsely claimed that wearing masks won’t prevent COVID-19. 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.”
However, multiple studies have shown that social distancing, when paired with wearing masks, is the most effective way to prevent transmission of the virus.
A former top homeland security aide, Olivia Troye, endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday. While doing so, she accused Trump of drastically mismanaging the coronavirus response, saying “it was all about the election.”
Speaking with the New Yorker, Troye said her firsthand observation of the President was that he was “disruptive. She said he couldn’t “focus.”
“For him, it was all about the election. He just can’t seem to care about anyone else besides himself,” said Troye.
In an ad released online, Troye detailed hearing the President say he was glad the virus arrived in the United States since it meant he wouldn’t have to shake hands with “disgusting” people.
Troye, a lifelong Republican, said she will vote for Biden because “at this point it’s country over party,” and she believes the nation is in a “constitutional crisis.”
Troye, who served as Pence’s top aide on the White House coronavirus task force, also expressed concern over the President’s push for a vaccine before the upcoming election.
“What I’m really concerned about is if they rush this vaccine and pressure people and get something out because they want to save the election,” she said.
Troye said she has seen Trump rant first-hand about Fox News coverage while public-health advisors repeatedly tried to get him to focus on the coronavirus, which is more than just a severe flu, instead.