Coronavirus: Pastor who criticised Covid-19 ‘mass hysteria’ dies from illness

He 'didn’t think it was a hoax, he knew it was a real virus', son says

James Crump
Tuesday 07 April 2020 19:17 BST
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A pastor who criticised the panic surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has died from the illness.

Pastor Landon Spradlin from Virginia died a month after falling ill while at Mardi Gras in New Orleans to preach, according to the BBC.

Despite suffering from Covid-19 symptoms, on 13 March, Mr Spradlin shared a meme on Facebook describing the reaction to coronavirus as “mass hysteria”, according to the New York Post.

In the comments section, he added that it “is a real issue, but I believe the media is pumping out fear and doing more harm than good”.

He added that “it will come and it will go”.

His daughter, Naomi Spradlin, told the BBC that she doesn’t remember talking to him about Covid-19.

“With what’s happened, we keep looking back, and we didn’t talk about it once,” she said.

Mr Spradlin’s son Landon Isaac, told the BBC that they did discuss the virus and that despite his Facebook comments, Mr Spradlin “didn’t think it was a hoax, 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,” Mr Isaac added.

Alongside preaching, Mr Spradlin was a musician, who was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2016.

His daughter, Jesse Spradlin, told the BBC that he was always playing music.

“He loved to laugh. He loved to play guitar. He played guitar even when he wasn’t supposed to.” She added that “he was just the best man in the world”.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, upwards of 378,289 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 11,830.

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