Editor's Note: This article is excerpted from Stephen E. Strang's God, Trump, and COVID-19, which is now available to purchase. Click here to learn more.
The novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, will likely be remembered similarly to the way we recall Pearl Harbor or September 11, 2001. In some ways America will never be the same, and I knew I needed to deal with this by writing a quick update of my book God, Trump, and the 2020 Election. I completed that book in the fall of 2019, and it was released January 14, 2020-around the time news reports out of China were warning of a new virus infecting many.
Fast-forward to April 2020, when I felt compelled to put together God, Trump, and COVID-19—call it part two of the God, Trump, and the 2020 Election message—which I wrote in less than two weeks. Even though you may be reading this after the main threat of the novel coronavirus has passed, I trust that this will help you better understand the events and issues that have changed us irrevocably.
Thankfully, President Trump had quickly shut down the U.S. borders, announcing on January 31 travel restrictions on those coming from China, effective February 2, and then, effective March 16, on those coming from Europe, where the virus was spreading quickly. He declared the outbreak a national emergency on March 13.
At the time, there was sharp criticism from Democrats, most notably Joe Biden, who condemned "Trump's record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering" after he announced the China travel restrictions. Trump said Democrats "loudly criticized and protested" his travel restrictions and that Biden "called me a racist" because of the decision.
Trump may have slightly overstated the Democratic opposition's position. But according to The Hill, on January 31, 2020, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said President Trump's decision to extend the travel ban to six African nations was "outrageous, un-American and threatened the rule of law." That statement didn't age well. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) tweeted on January 14 that there was no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus, but by January 23 the organization said human-to-human transmission was occurring.
However, President Trump, whose keen leadership instincts told him to take these actions even as the impeachment farce was wrapping up with his acquittal in the Senate on February 5, was taking action to protect the American people—putting them first. In predictable style the Left and the mainstream media blasted him as an alarmist. Of course, when things got really bad, they changed their tune. After all, the strong Trump economy began to plummet, and companies were shuttered—especially businesses that dealt with the public, such as restaurants and hairdressers. Even most churches closed their doors after March 16, when the president released guidelines recommending gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people.
Even with the stay-at-home orders, some enterprises were considered essential—drugstores and grocery stores, for example. Restaurants and bars had to close except for takeout or delivery. However, churches were considered nonessential, while liquor stores were considered essential! Early reports showed that liquor sales were way up while people sheltered in place.
This created an interesting question about religious liberty. Why did the government bureaucrats consider churches nonessential? We do, after all, have a constitutional right to freedom of religion.
Rodney Howard-Browne, pastor of the megachurch The River at Tampa Bay in Florida, held services after sanitizing everything and making sure people stayed the required 6 feet apart. The sheriff of his county held a press conference to shame Pastor Howard-Browne for disregarding public safety and announced a warrant for his arrest had been issued, and later deputies went to his home to arrest him on two second-degree misdemeanors.
Liberty Counsel pointed out that Americans have freedom of religion under the Constitution, but many businesses allowed to stay open, such as The Home Depot or repair shops, have no such right. After being threatened with a constitutional lawsuit they knew they would lose, the local Hillsborough County authorities changed and said churches were essential. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and several other governors determined that churches were essential in their states. In a way, religious liberty won. But if it's a virus this time, what happens next time officials order churches to close, especially after so many have quietly gone along with the shutdown orders?
The coronavirus has changed everything. Someday the virus itself will be contained or prevented. But millions of people have discovered they don't have to rush around. Staying at home with the family isn't that bad. And even President Trump said watching church online—which he said he has done several Sundays during the shutdown—wasn't so bad.
The coronavirus has also changed our politics. The Left already wants the government to do everything and pay for everything. Now even conservatives seem to like the Paycheck Protection Program, through which the government basically pays businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
For a couple of weeks normal politics were on the back burner—no political rallies. Joe Biden was in his basement giving video news conferences to try to stay relevant but making gaffes and bumbling his words, even when a friendly journalist tried to help him.
Most of the news focused on the coronavirus instead of endless investigations and impeachment. Even Gov. Gavin Newsome of California and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York had nice things to say about President Trump when he rushed to their aid as the pandemic hit those states particularly hard. But the Democrats also blasted him for acting too slowly. Nancy Pelosi said people would die because of Trump's incompetence as a leader.
But the opposite was true. In one debate Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden both said they would not have closed the borders. Of course not; they are for open borders. Ironically our southern border finally closed when officials figured out that illegal immigrants pouring across the border might be bringing COVID-19 into the country.
Several prominent Democrats, such as Nancy Pelosi, said Americans didn't need to panic about the virus. Fox News host Jesse Watters called the Democrats out on this during a recent broadcast, saying, "Not too long ago, Cuomo was saying go eat out in New York City. [Bill] de Blasio had all of the schools open. Nancy Pelosi said bring your friends to Chinatown and go to the bars. Joe Biden said the travel ban was racist." Most of the media neglect to replay these sound bites.
I believe Donald Trump has given great leadership in this pandemic. I believe he will continue to give great leadership and the economy will roar back. As bad as the pandemic is, it may help him to win even bigger in the November election. But all bets are off. Trump's single major selling point to American voters who normally might not vote for a Republican was the soaring economy. The New York Post reported on March 21: "The coronavirus poses an 'existential threat' to President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election, campaign insiders and GOP operatives say." If this is true, then we have even more reason to back this president and help him get reelected.
Why did I write this book on such short notice? It's an important subject I'm interested in. And of course the public is interested. This also ties in with my book God, Trump, and the 2020 Election. I wanted to make the case that Trump is providing good leadership through this, which is one more reason we must return him to office.
But even more importantly, I want the reader to understand where God is in the midst of a historically tense, intense time. And I felt the need to tell the untold story of what the prophets are saying and unpack what that means, including where they were right and what this means for the future of America and the church.
I've written several books about Donald Trump because I believe we are at a critical juncture in the life of our country, and I believe God has raised up this incredible leader for such a time as this. My previous book, God, Trump, and the 2020 Election, explores what is at stake if he loses in November. It is the most important book I've ever written. If you haven't read it, I hope you will—not because it's my book but because I believe it will help you understand what the liberal fake news (and even the more conservative secular news media) won't tell you: Where is God in all this, and what is His will?
God, Trump, and the 2020 Election has done very well and is getting good reviews, but a month after it was released in January 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in the United States. In a matter of weeks everything changed. In early April I felt I should write a new book about how this unexpected pandemic could affect the outcome of this election. It's much shorter than my other books, and I wrote it in only 19 days. It's timely and topical and in some ways is the sequel to God, Trump, and the 2020 Election.
I know many readers have read it, and maybe that's why you decided to read what else I have written about this important time in American history, leading up to the most important election in our lifetimes. If you have not read God, Trump, and the 2020 Election, I hope this makes you want to read the original. Not only did I have a chapter in that book on "Why Trump Must Win," but I had a chapter on "Why He Might Lose." One of the reasons was if something terrible were to happen to the economy. In late 2019 when I wrote that chapter, it seemed to me that the economy would continue to soar. Now all that has changed. And it might affect the outcome of the election.
Soon the pandemic will end and our country will return to some form of new normal. And when November 3 rolls around, we will have an election, no matter what. The issues about freedom and religious liberty and how desperate (and frankly dishonest) the Left is will still be with us. If anything, the stakes will be even higher than if this pandemic hadn't happened.
Most readers know I'm a publisher—it's how I make a living. But I wrote these books not just to sell books but to light a fire under the Christian community that we must turn out at the polls like never before, or life as we know it will end and persecution of Christians and those who oppose the Leftist agenda will likely begin.
You can decide if I make the case well. If I do, I hope you will encourage others to read not only this small book but the original as well. Once the supply chain opens up again, it will be available wherever books are sold. Plus, you can get it online, including on our website SteveStrangBooks.com. I hope you read it, recommend it, and become passionate about reelecting a president raised up by God for such a time as this.
Bible-believing voters—whether Democrats, Independents, or Republicans—do have some key non-negotiables that usually impact their voting:
Protection of religious liberties and freedoms
Nomination of Supreme Court candidates who will base decisions on a constructionist view of the Constitution (i.e., not activist judges)
Protection of the unborn
Support of Israel
Determination to stop the persecution of Christians and religious minorities around the world
Evangelicals typically agree on these key issues (which I documented in God, Trump, and the 2020 Election).
Things were so desperate when Hillary Clinton was running for president that the American people took a chance on a political outsider. After the coronavirus has passed us, we will need the leadership of this dynamic president to help our country get back to normal. And come what may, there will be an election on November 3, and we cannot allow Joe Biden to be elected for all the reasons I outline in God, Trump, and the 2020 Election.
READ MORE: This story continues in Stephen E. Strang's God, Trump, and COVID-19, available in both physical and digital versions. Click here to purchase your copy.
Stephen E. Strang is the founder of Charisma. He is the best-selling author of God and Donald Trump; Trump Aftershock; God, Trump, and the 2020 Election; and God, Trump, and COVID-19. Listen to his podcasts, The Strang Report and God, Trump, and the 2020 Election, on the Charisma Podcast Network (cpnshows.com).
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