(NY DAILY NEWS) – An anti-vaccine evangelical Christian pastor has contracted COVID-19 after describing the available vaccines as “global genocide.”
Rick Wiles, who runs a conspiracy website called TruNews while serving as the head pastor at Flowing Streams Church in Florida, has refused to get vaccinated and has spoken about it in videos posted on social media, according to Newsweek.
“I am not going to be vaccinated,” he said in April. “I’m going to be one of the survivors. I’m going to survive the genocide.”
“You and I are witnessing the first global mass murder and it’s being led by Satan’s team on the planet,” he told his fans. “You must survive it. Do not be vaccinated.”
Last week, the church posted on its official Gab account that there was a COVID-19 outbreak at the church. The account followed up on Saturday to ask specifically for prayers for Wiles.
“URGENT REQUEST – please be praying for Rick Wiles right now,” the church posted. “Please repost so that there’s an army of people praying.”
Flowing Streams Vice President Raymond Burkhart later sent an email to fans announcing that the 67-year-old Wiles had been hospitalized.
“Rick is very much in need of your continued prayers. Today, he was taken to the emergency room, and under medical advice, was admitted to the hospital. He is currently on oxygen and is expected to remain there for a number of days,” Burkhart wrote.