Prayer Will Not Stop the CoronavirusRoundup
tags: poverty, social justice, coronavirus, social services
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is is co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. His latest book is Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is is author of the newly released Revolution of Values.
When President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and public health officials held a Saturday press conference on their plans to address the coronavirus, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson was a surprising addition to the line-up.
Yes, Carson is a medical doctor. But his specialty was neurosurgery, not epidemiology. A public health crisis will certainly impact Americans who live in public housing and are housing insecure, but Carson did not address those issues either. Instead, he stepped to the microphone to celebrate Trump’s call for a National Day of Prayer Sunday.
But America is not in trouble because people are not praying; we face an exacerbated public health crisis because this administration has spent more time preying on the most vulnerable than lifting all people.
As Christian ministers who are called to preach the truth to God’s people, we are deeply troubled by the way this president continues to hypocritically manipulate faith as a cover for his ungodly policies. Though he has used racism to stoke fears in the nation and pushed policies that exacerbate racial inequality, Trump called on a black man to whitewash his incompetence and corruption at precisely the moment when the harsh reality of a global pandemic has exposed him.