Landon Spradlin, a Virginia pastor, who was dubbed a coronavirus denier, has died due to complications of COVID-19.
Spradlin, who was also a Gospel and blues musician and Donald Trump supporter, passed away at the age of 66.
Spradlin, of Gretna, fell ill after a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he went to preach the message of God to the thousands of people who came for Mardi Gras celebrations.
Spradlin’s daughter, Jesse Spradlin, spoke to BBC about his mission during the wild festivities: “His mission was to go into pubs, clubs, and bars, play the blues and connect with musicians and just tell them that Jesus loved them. Mardi Gras is like Times Square in New York during New Year’s Eve. It’s a sea of people just drinking and partying. He was loud and laughing and in his element.”
Upon discovering that he had the symptoms of COVID-19, he took a test, but it was negative. While ill, the man of God, took to Facebook, where he shared a post claiming that there was a “hysteria” surrounding the virus.
The preacher also compared swine flu and coronavirus deaths and made it known that he believed that the media is against Trump and favors former President Barack Obama.
Spradlin also suggested that the coronavirus was cooked up by a group that wants to end Trump’s political career.
In the now-deleted Facebook post, Spradlin also penned this message to his followers saying: “..is a real issue, but I believe the media is pumping out fear and doing more harm than good. It will come, and it will go.”
Spradlin’s son, Landon Isaac, decided to share more details about the controversial Facebook message: “He didn’t think it was a hoax, and he knew it was a real virus. But he did put up that post because he was frustrated that the media was propagating fear as the main mode of communication.”
A few days after sharing his Facebook note, the health of the traveling musical minister took a turn for the worse as he and his wife, Jean, were driving from New Orleans to Virginia.
He was rushed to a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, where doctors discovered that he was battling pneumonia and coronavirus.
The Christian missionary was placed on a ventilator, but his condition did not improve, and he died soon after.
Due to the many restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus, Spradlin’s family members were not allowed to tell him goodbye or even attend his funeral.