Conservative televangelist Kenneth Copeland has claimed that President Donald Trump’s recovery from COVID-19 is proof that Christians are immune from the deadly virus.
Copeland made the inaccurate and dangerous remarks while appearing on the Victory Channel’s America Stands: FlashPoint on Tuesday.
“I was noticing today—President Trump and his beautiful first lady—without masks. They are immune. They are immune,” Copeland said.
“And this display of our president giving God thanks for helping in that time – and he walked out immune. Somehow. Glory to God. Thank you, Jesus.
“Come on man, we’re immune. We’re going through this thing with a holy spirit immunity from the works of the devil.”
Trump spent three nights in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. In a video posted shortly after he returned to the White House, Trump said: “Now I’m better, and maybe I’m immune, I don’t know.”
America Stands: FlashPoint host Gene Bailey said Trump’s recovery is comparable to missionary John G. Lake, who claimed faith was the reason he did not contract the plague while working during an outbreak in South Africa between 1908 to 1913.
Bailey claimed had been tested for COVID-19 and told he has antibodies to protect against it despite never contracting the disease. He called them “antibodies of faith.”
There have been studies to suggest that a form of immunity for the virus comes from antibodies present in people who have tested positive for the virus.
There is zero scientific evidence that merely being Christian is enough to protect against the virus, which has killed more than 225,000 in the U.S. alone.
Despite stating that Christians are immune to the coronavirus, Copeland previously claimed he had “healed” people of the virus just by getting them to touch the screen.
“Thank you, Lord Jesus. He received your healing,” Copeland said during his “special report” on the coronavirus in March. “Now say it: I take it. I have it. It’s mine. I thank you and praise you for it.”
He added: “According to the word of God, I’m healed. And I consider not my own body. I consider not symptoms in my body. But only that which God has promised.”
A recent study by researchers at Imperial College London found that protection after infection may not be long-lasting and antibodies decline after a few months, leaving the possibility of people getting infected by COVID-19 again.
World Health Organisation spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said the lack of clarity over potential immunity and the fact a large percentage of the world do not have any antibodies means hoping people will be protected through collective immunity is “not really an option.”
Copeland has been contacted for comment.
This graph, provided by Statista, shows the spread of COVID-19 across the country as of October 26.