Pastor Landon Spradlin of Virginia shared posts on social media in recent weeks suggesting the coronavirus crisis was merely an anti-Trump media manipulation and opted to take his family to New Orleans last month to help “wash it from its Sin and debauchery” during Mardi Gras.
But the “mass hysteria” that he believed the pandemic to be reportedly claimed his life this week, according to the Friendly Atheist.
Spradlin, who the Roanoke Times described as a “traveling musical minister”, died at the age of 66 on Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19 and suffering double pneumonia, according to his family.
The Friendly Atheist noted that Spradlin “posted many photos and videos of his family, his band, and himself performing and sightseeing in New Orleans beginning on what seems February 21 through March 10,” with much of his time spent in crowded Jackson Square.
The pastor most likely had already been infected when he posted on March 13 that the country’s response to the coronavirus was “mass hysteria” generated by the media to hurt the president.
Spradlin also made a post explaining that “As long as I walk in the light of that law [of the Spirit of life], no germ will attach itself to me.”
The pastor’s wife, Jean Spradlin, reportedly was in quarantine and awaiting her own test results as of March 24, apparently with pneumonia in both lungs and being treated with antibiotics, New Wave Ministries International said on social media.
As precautionary measures could have saved Spradlin’s life, the Friendly Atheist described the tragedy as “a sad loss here in Virginia from the pandemic that also comes as a cautionary tale.”