As the growing coronavirus crisis causes businesses and public facilities to shutter around the country, Liberty University, the evangelical college run by Jerry Falwell Jr., is keeping its doors open and refusing to move its classes online. That decision has quite a number of students upset.
According to a report from WDBJ, an anonymous student launched a petition calling on Falwell Jr. to implement an extended break from classes and to move them online. In a statement, the student said she has an immune system compromised from advanced thyroid cancer treatments.
“Through those experiences, I have met many people that have compromised immune systems and other health conditions … I decided to make a petition, hoping that maybe if the students banded together we could express that this is way more than a political issue,” her statement read.
“Shortly after Jerry announced his plan, President Trump declared a national emergency,” she continued. “Myself, and 3,700+ other students and families are hoping that Jerry Falwell will come to his senses and make the decision to switch classes to an online platform to slow the spread of the virus and help protect those that are more vulnerable.”
During an appearance on Fox & Friends this Friday, Falwell Jr. floated as conspiracy theory about the virus’s origin — a rant that went completely unchallenged by the show’s hosts.
“It makes you wonder if there’s a political reason for that. You know, impeachment didn’t work, and the Mueller report didn’t work, and [the 25th Amendment] didn’t work, and so maybe now this is their next attempt to get Trump,” he said.
“I had the owner of a restaurant ask me last night—he said, ‘Do you remember the North Korean leader promised a Christmas present for America back in December? Could it be they got together with China and this is that present?’ I don’t know, but it really is something strange going on,” he added.
As of this writing, the petition has surpassed 11,000 supporters.