Franklin Graham has claimed the media and “liberal politicians” are using the coronavirus pandemic to “destroy” Donald Trump.
Graham, the notorious anti-LGBT+ evangelist, made the comments in a Facebook post shortly after he was told to close a New York tent hospital set up by his charity Samaritan’s Purse.
The Central Park tent hospital was plagued by controversy after it emerged volunteers had to sign a belief statement that disavowed same-sex relationships.
Graham lashed out at “the left-leaning media” and “liberal states” in an angry Facebook post shortly after he was told to close up shop by New York City officials.
In the bizarre, wide-ranging post, Graham said that everybody will die eventually, and claimed people are using the crisis to attack Trump.
Franklin Graham said ‘the media and liberal politicians’ are trying to ‘destroy’ Donald Trump.
“A recent CNN headline said that the new coronavirus is likely to keep spreading for another 18-24 months, giving ammunition to liberal states who want to keep businesses closed,” Graham wrote.
“I agree that COVID-19 may be around for a while — human coronavirus has already been around in some form for many years.
“But as a nation and as individuals, we have to learn to live with pandemics, whether it’s coronavirus or any other. We can’t hide in a cave until the world is free from every virus or threat.”
God made us. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, and He knows the number of our days.
He then said that “keeping the economy shut down” is “doing more damage to people’s lives than COVID-19,” a peculiar claim considering the fact that the coronavirus has already killed 69,000 people in the United States alone.
Graham continued: “Social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks in public places — all of these precautions are important. But fear and anxiety can be very detrimental to one’s health as well.
“No matter how negative the reports are from the media and liberal politicians who want to use the coronavirus to destroy President Donald J. Trump, if we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we don’t have to be afraid.”
He concluded: “God made us. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, and He knows the number of our days.”
Trump has faced scathing criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The United States is now the worst affected country in the world, with the highest number of cases and deaths.
Graham set up his tent hospital in March, but he has been accused of exploiting a crisis to evangelise.
Franklin Graham was granted permission to set up the site back in March, with NYC mayor Bill de Blaiso saying that he had received assurances the group – often criticised for exploiting disasters to evangelise – would not discriminate.
Graham went back against his word almost immediately – forcing all medical volunteers to sign a belief statement that disavows homosexual relationships, publicly comparing homosexuals to drug addicts, and bringing in a film crew to record sermons and evangelist videos.
Videos released by Samaritan’s Purse revealed Bible verses taped to medical equipment and written over face masks at the site.
New York City council speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay, announced that the site would be closed following the controversy in a statement released last week (May 1).
“It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave New York City,” Johnson wrote.
“This group, which is led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed.
“Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBT+ community.”