President Trump yesterday invited Mike Lindell—a major Republican donor and CEO of MyPillow—to his now-daily briefing on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The President thanked Lindell, who is notably dedicating three-fourths of MyPillow’s manufacturing capabilities to produce cotton face masks for health care providers, before giving him the podium to speak.
After highlighting his company’s efforts on COVID-19, Lindell proceeded to push the longstanding agenda of the religious right, stating:
“God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on. God had been taken out of our schools and lives, a nation had turned its back on God. And I encourage you, use this time at home to get back in the word. Read our bibles and spend time with our families.”
This is all normal behavior for Lindell, a proud Evangelical Christian who has supported the President since the 2016 campaign. A regular VIP at Trump rallies, Lindell has also hinted repeatedly that Trump thinks he should run for Governor of Minnesota.
In response, Debbie Allen, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, said:
“Mike Liddell’s decision to dedicate so much of his company to supporting first responders is indeed commendable. However, there is no excuse for using an official White House briefing, which is supposed to be about informing our citizens what our government is doing to protect them from a worldwide pandemic, to instead use that urgent forum to proselytize to the American public. President Trump’s political connections to Liddell and the religious right were on full display here.
Make no mistake, President Trump chose to force-feed Christian propaganda to the millions of uncertain Americans who tuned-in for critical health and safety updates. A global crisis is no time to sneak in political favors and a religious agenda that flies in the face of our nation’s secular Constitution.
Yet again, President Trump has marginalized around 60 million American adults—more than one quarter of eligible voters—in the secular community by pandering to the religious right and their extreme vision of America. Worst-of-all, in the face of predictions by his own Task Force that 200,000 lives lost is our ‘best-case scenario,’ Trump reinforced that he favors faith and personal belief over the scientific research, evidence, and expert guidance that will best see America through this crisis.”