Rodney Howard-Browne, a Tampa megachurch pastor who has recently said he’ll make the coronavirus disappear just like he did with the Zika virus, made good on his promise Sunday to continue holding services at his church during the coronavirus pandemic because he claims his church is very sterile.
It was business as usual at Howard-Browne’s River Church on Sunday morning, with worshipers “squeezing into close quarters like sardines,” as TMZ describes it.
The service went on despite urgent warnings from health officials that people should absolutely not congregate in large crowds and should keep a distance of about 6 feet from one another, in order to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The CDC has urged organizations that “serve high-risk populations, to consider cancelling gatherings of more than 10 people.”
Video from Sunday’s service shows dozens of worshippers crowding elbow-to-elbow near the stage at one point.
Watch video from this morning’s service, below:
“We are not stopping anything. I’ve got news for you, this church will never close. The only time the church will close is when the Rapture is taking place,” Howard-Browne said earlier this month, referring to the term denoting the expected return of Jesus Christ.
The pastor also noted that there likely isn’t a cleaner church in Tampa, or even the country.
“We brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place, and uh, if somebody walks through the door it’s like, it kills everything on them. If they sneeze, it shoots it down at like 100 mph. It’ll neutralize it in split seconds. We have the most sterile building in, I don’t know, all of America,” he said.
“And we disturbed [the Zika virus], declared we cursed that thing in the name of Jesus and Zika disappeared,” the pastor said last month.
“We are doing the same thing with the Coronavirus,” he added. “We do not need it on these shores, and obviously — somebody said ‘Well, what about the rest of the world?’ I can’t be responsible for every city or whatever.”
Rodney Howard-Browne will continue to hold services because his church is the most sterile building in America, as it contains 13 machines that can instantaneously kill any virus: “If they sneeze, it shoots it down at like 100 mph. It’ll neutralize it in split seconds.” pic.twitter.com/Z5PLFXlPfp
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 27, 2020