I'm very concerned, just 95 days before the election, that the Left is using the COVID-19 pandemic for political purposes. Just recently YouTube, Twitter and Google censored a video that went viral with approximately 70 million views of some "Front Line Doctors" talking about how COVID-19 can be treated using hydroxychloroquine. These were doctors, including a Nigerian doctor named Dr. Stella Immanuel, who has treated over 350 COVID-19 patients and not had any die. This group gave very interesting statistics on how hydroxychloroquine is safe and that it seems to not only cure the disease (especially if administered early when the symptoms appear), but it also seems to be a preventative.
I am not a doctor, of course, but I am trying to get the word out, and that is one reason why I wrote about health issues in my new book, God, Trump and COVID-19. I include some of the information from this book in this newsletter.
I hope that you will listen to my podcast in which I share my own thoughts and even tell how I was exposed to a friend who tested positive for COVID-19. I quarantined myself for four days until my own test results came back negative. I can only speculate but I think it is because I have a good immune system, and I talk about that in the book.
My friend Dr. Don Colbert, a Spirit-filled medical doctor and Charisma House author, is just one of a host of Christians right now in medicine, basic research and public health who are using their God-given gifts to understand and fight this disease.
I believe strongly that God has given us a powerful and miraculous immune system to fight off the possible trillions of viruses in the world. Many of today's processed foods and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) directly target our immune system. This only solidifies the case to build our immunity and practice wisdom in our eating habits.
Dr. Colbert told me that, first of all, as Christians we must approach this pandemic with faith and not fear. We must pray Psalm 91 over ourselves and our families: "Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly pestilence" (Ps. 91:3).
"Read the Word out loud over yourself and your family every day, and then receive that word by faith and don't live in fear," Colbert said. I would add that we should plead the blood of Jesus over ourselves and our loved ones each day and truly put on the full armor of God. After all, in many ways this is what we have trained for.
But that doesn't mean that following practical advice isn't important. And understanding some basics of how viruses operate will alleviate some of our fears about the coronavirus. In the early days of the pandemic we knew little about the symptoms or how the virus was spread or even how bad it would be. For example, some people freaked out over having a runny nose or productive cough, not realizing they likely didn't have the coronavirus, which produces a dry cough.
As the virus news started to spread, many people felt they may have had it. But most of it was psychosomatic. I remember hearing Vice President Pence say in one of his briefings that 9 out of 10 people tested for the virus (fearing they had it) tested negative. But people became increasingly worried, and some even panicked over regular cold or flu-like symptoms. At the time, testing was not easily accessible, and people had been listening to the dire predictions of the news and the media's apocalyptic models.
Many had felt that President Trump was going to use his Emergency Powers Act authority to close down the country, but instead, he set up a task force that consequently gave Americans a set of guidelines to follow and empowered the states and local governments in accordance with the Constitution and intentions of the founding fathers. Initially the guidelines were meant to be for 15n days, but they ended up being for 45 days to slow the spread.
During one of the initial Coronavirus Task Force meetings, President Trump made a stark announcement that several therapeutic drugs had been showing promising results in the initial testing and clinical trials. One of those drugs was an antimalarial drug that has been on the market and FDA approved for decades: hydroxychloroquine.
But why were some Democratic leaders purposely making it harder for hydroxychloroquine even to be administered in their states? For example, let's look at Nevada governor Steve Sisolak's March 25 emergency regulation order. He signed an order limiting the use of the two anti-malaria drugs to treat coronavirus patients after President Donald Trump spoke about the possible treatments in several Coronavirus Task Force pressers. Then Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer followed suit. These orders were eventually rewritten and amended after substantial public backlash. There was even a Michigan state representative, Karen Whitsett, who attributed her recovery from COVID-19 to hydroxychloroquine, and she thanked President Trump for making her aware of it.
The question is, Why would Democrats want to stop the flow of a possible effective treatment to their citizens? Most likely for political purposes, it seems. They just don't want to give the president a win. They even referred to the treatment as "snake oil" even though several studies and medical journals from France, Italy and China show promising and effective results. Meanwhile, India and other countries limited hydroxychloroquine from being sent out of their countries to other countries. President Trump eventually worked hard to construct a deal with both India and Israel to have millions of doses sent to the United States. It seems the polarization of the American political climate has hit new levels, as even in a pandemic situation there can't seem to be agreement on getting fast and effective medication help to the people.
There are also several vaccines in the works as well as plasma treatments—each showing promise. Very ill coronavirus patients treated with the Ebola drug remdesivir are also showing promising—and quick—results, according to a new report. A very early glimpse into one clinical trial site, at the University of Chicago Medical Center, reveals that most of the patients treated with the medication went home in as little as six days, STAT News reported.
As part of two phase 3 clinical trials—sponsored by the drug's manufacturer, Gilead Sciences—the hospital recruited 125 people with COVID-19, 113 with severe cases, according to the report. Each patient had been treated with daily infusions of remdesivir, which works by shutting off the bug's ability to replicate inside cells. All these new treatments are still developing as I write this in April, and we are praying and believing for an answer in the weeks and months ahead.
Christian organizations such as Samaritan's Purse also stepped into high gear, and that organization constructed an Emergency Field Hospital in Central Park, which opened on April 1, 2020, to care for those suffering from COVID-19. "We have admitted 120 patients since we opened and, in general, are treating around 50 patients at any given time," said Franklin Graham, CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization.
"This is a battle—a battle against the disease," said Dr. Elliott Tenpenny, director of the Samaritan's Purse International Health Unit. Tenpenny is serving in New York City and has been instrumental in spearheading much of the New York operation for the organization.
The 14-tent, 68-bed respiratory care unit was designed especially for this coronavirus response. Among other notable features, the mobile medical facility includes 10 ICU beds equipped with ventilators and needed medical equipment. "Patients are coming to us from our partner, the Mount Sinai Health System, which has, like other health care facilities, been overwhelmed by those sickened with the virus."
The coronavirus is also canceling in-person church services all across the nation. Churches are accustomed to hosting weekly gatherings; some even have several services each week.
She said that first of all, we must be people of faith. It's almost shocking to think how quickly this unknown virus overtook everyone's attention. At first the Chinese government worked hard to cover it up, but as it began to spread rapidly across the globe, entire nations panicked.
"The Word says perfect love casts out all fear—not most fear, all fear," she said. "We must not fear. As I was getting ready this morning, I kept hearing over and over in my head, 'I've got this. I've got this.' Then I would hear, 'God's got this.'"
Joan believes there's going to be a greater emphasis on praying for the sick in the near future. But if God's people haven't practiced praying for the sick and haven't learned wisdom, this will be difficult.
The coronavirus became personal when someone I know, Greg Mundis, executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM), got it. His wife contracted the disease shortly afterward. Interestingly the couple have been using a new drug on the market. Thankfully they both recovered.
When Mundis tested positive for COVID-19, AGWM shared a call to prayer on Facebook, saying: "BREAKING NEWS AND CALL TO PRAYER: AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis has been positively confirmed as having COVID-19.We ask everyone to intercede for Greg in this crucial time—for complete healing of his lungs and kidneys, and for the Spirit of God to fill his hospital room with God's healing presence."
I had the privilege of speaking to his son, Dr. Greg Mundis Jr., who is an orthopedic surgeon from San Diego. I invited him on my podcast, where he shared with me what it was like for both of his parents to get sick with COVID-19. Greg told me that his father hosted several French delegates at the Assemblies of God headquarters, and they held a few meetings together. When the delegates returned home, they began feeling ill, and Greg's father followed suit not too long afterward. When the delegates were told they tested positive for COVID-19, Greg's dad knew he had to get tested too.
"Monday morning my dad went through a drive-through testing center to get tested and was feeling very ill at that point," Greg said. "My mom was really worried about him by the time he got home. The EMS was called, an ambulance took him to the hospital, and about four to five hours later he was on a ventilator."
Both of Greg's parents took hydroxychloroquine, which seemed to help. As discussed earlier, hydroxychloroquine is typically used to treat malaria, but it can also be used to treat and mitigate lupus and arthritis. As I write this, the FDA is still testing it as a treatment against COVID-19 and hopefully will learn soon if it's as effective as early users testify it is.
On May 18, President Trump touted the drug as a potential cure for the coronavirus, which has given the medicine quite a bit of press. Some have criticized Trump for encouraging the use of this drug, while others see it as practically a miracle medicine.
"It's not a miracle drug," Dr. Mundis told me. "You know, the miracle drug is staying home and not infecting other people. If we all do that, then the miracle's done, ironically. So yes, the drug has been used. It has FDA clearance for rheumatologic diseases and in the antimalarial arena, and it's been used in this setting [of COVID-19] somewhat successfully by these published reports. So it's off-label use, but right now, it seems to be the best tool we have to fight this virus from a medical standpoint."
Greg encouraged Christians to see God, not this antimalarial drug, as their Savior in the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who feel stuck at home during quarantine, he said they can use that time to press deeper in to God.
To me, that is good advice. The medical community and the politicians won't encourage this, but as Christians we must ask what God is saying. The most important thing is to not let fear take root in our hearts. As Christians we have been trained for a time such as this. We are made to overcome in Jesus Christ. This too shall pass. Let's do what the Bible says and pray for those who are sick and believe they will indeed be healed.
This article has been adapted from Chapter 7 of God, Trump and COVID-19, published by FrontLine, an imprint of Charisma House. To read the rest of this chapter along with Chapter 8, click here for a free sample.
Of course, I hope you'll visit stevestrangbooks.com where you can purchase God, Trump and COVID-19 in print and digital form as well as its companion books, God and Donald Trump, Trump Aftershock and the bestselling God, Trump and the 2020 Election.
As always, if you like what you read and hear, please share this article and this episode of my podcast with your friends and family members. It's time for the people of America to stand up for freedom of speech and religion and for the biblical values Trump has shown a strong commitment to support as he makes America great again.
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