One adviser to President Donald Trump, who sits on the current Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, Gloria Copeland, said in a controversial video from a week ago that people should “inoculate” themselves against the flu with prayer, rather than the flu vaccine. Gloria Copeland, 75, was named as a faith adviser to Donald Trump in June of 2016, along with her televangelist husband, Kenneth Copeland, and reportedly doesn’t even believe in the “flu season.” According to Copeland in a now-viral video clip, the American people simply need to will themselves to avoid the flu by saying the words “I’ll never have the flu.”
President Donald Trump previously sent out congratulations to both Kenneth and Gloria Copeland last year in recognition of 50 years of devotion to “faith and humanity,” according to the Independent. However, critics of Gloria Copeland’s recent message to Trump constituents in regards to this year’s deadly flu outbreak believe she’s not doing humanity a favor by telling them to not get the flu vaccine. According to ABC News, the “Texas-based evangelist with ties” to Donald Trump through the evangelical advisory board actually told viewers of the video that they have already been given the flu shot.
ABC News goes on to say that there have been over 50 pediatric deaths from this year’s “worst flu” season “on record,” adding that Gloria Copeland seemingly tells people to “inoculate yourself” from getting the flu through “the word.” Copeland explains her advice on refusing the flu vaccine in a short video clip that she shared on the Copeland Network Facebook page last Wednesday. Even when people are threatened with reports that “everybody is getting the flu this year,” Gloria Copeland tells her “partners” that there’s no such thing as a flu season and that through “supernatural power” people can be healed as well as protected from the “curse of the flu.”
“We’ve already had our shot. He bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases. That’s what we stand on.”
“Get on the word. Stay on the word,” says Copeland in a video that’s been viewed nearly 200,000 times within the last seven days.
Comments on the video both praise and criticize Donald Trump’s evangelical adviser for telling people to avoid the flu shot in what’s being called a “devastating” ongoing flu outbreak for the last four months. Some comments say the Gloria Copeland is being “irresponsible” and “reckless” for advising “people to turn their backs” on the flu vaccine when healthy people are “dying of the flu” strains this year. Other comments say that prayer is “100 percent effective” from getting this year’s flu virus because the vaccine allegedly isn’t “for the strain” of flu that emerged this year.
ABC News also explains that more than one flu strain is hitting people this year, but according to officials, getting the flu vaccine will reportedly still reduce chances of getting the flu by one-third — “not zero.” Officials are also reportedly worried about misconceptions surrounding the flu shot, including thoughts that the vaccine will actually give people the flu, as well as Gloria Copeland’s recent “dangerous” message to the public that prayer is the “best medicine” for healing and preventing the flu virus.
An article on Christianity Today shares that members of the evangelical advisory board often consult with Donald Trump to “influence” his theology, adding that Gloria Copeland has ties to the president that date back to September of 2015 when the “Copelands prayed with Trump.”