Police Show Up at Louisiana Church That Defied Governor’s Virus Order: Pastor

March 19, 2020 Updated: March 19, 2020

Police responded to a Lousiana church where hundreds of people congregated despite a statewide ban on gatherings of 250 people or more as part of the effort to curb the CCP virus.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

Tony Spell, the pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, told local news outlets that a law can’t prevent people from worship services.

“The virus, we believe, is politically motivated,” Spell told WAFB. “We hold our religious rights dear and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says.” Speaking to CNN, Spell said he thinks that around 300 people attended church service on Tuesday.

“I had 1,170 in attendance Sunday,” Spell added to the local station. “We have 27 buses on Sundays picking up people in a five-parish area.”

Spell said that a police officer arrived and told him that the National Guard would break up future gatherings that violate rules issued by the governor’s office.

A National Guard colonel, Ed Bush, said the claim isn’t true.

“The National Guard has not been tasked with enforcing any of the curfew, social distancing or meeting requirements as set by the governor,” Bush told the news outlet. “Our focus right now is completely with helping state agencies with preparedness and medical readiness,” Bush added.

Louisiana has more than 300 positive cases of the CCP virus and eight deaths connected to the disease, according to researchers with Johns Hopkins University.

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a ban on gatherings at bars, restaurants, churches, and other places this week.