WAFB 9 – Baton Rouge:
The pastor of a Louisiana church who says he believes the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is “politically motivated” defied government orders and welcomed hundreds of people into his church service Tuesday evening (March 17).
The gathering directly defied an order by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards that bans groups larger than 50 from gathering at any one time, including in churches. President Donald Trump has recommended no groups larger than 10.
The pastor, Rev. Tony Spell, says police showed up at the church after the service telling him the National Guard would break up any future services with more than 50 people gathered. Spell says 305 people attended the service in the sanctuary Tuesday night.