The pastor and evangelical adviser says he doesn’t know if he was infected at last week’s event.
For months, California megachurch pastor Greg Laurie has spoken out against the instinct to politicize the coronavirus outbreak, preaching to his congregation to overcome outrage with outreach and look for opportunities to serve people who find themselves overwhelmed, scared, and angry.
But now he finds himself registering a positive test during one of the most politically heated moments of the pandemic.
Laurie, 67, shared the news of his infection today in the midst of a string of high-profile COVID-19 cases, including President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and presidential staffers.
He cautioned Americans against the impulse to blame the White House.
“Unfortunately, the coronavirus has become very politicized,” he said in remarks to CT. “I wish we could all set aside our partisan ideas and pull together to do everything we can to defeat this virus and bring our nation back.”
After news of Trump’s diagnosis broke, multiple people who attended the president’s Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House over a week ago also tested positive. The infected attendees included former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who sat in front of Laurie, and Notre Dame University president John Jenkins. Online, some began speculating that the gathering was a “super spreader event.”
“I don’t even know if I personally got the coronavirus at the White House,” he said. “I had tested negative before the event.”
A source familiar with the ceremony told CT the evangelical advisers who gathered to pray inside with the president earlier in the day on September 26–many of them sitting together, unmasked in the Rose Garden crowd–had actually all …