Ron DeSantis deems religious services ‘essential’ — allows them to continue amid coronavirus outbreak

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has deemed religious services in churches, synagogues and other houses of worship, to be “essential” and therefore exempt from the stay-at-home executive order meant to stem the spread of coronavirus.

DeSantis announced a new sweeping executive order on Wednesday calling for a statewide 30-day stay-at-home order to go into effect this Friday, limiting movement only to essential businesses and essential activities. The order also lists essential activities that are permitted during the 30-day period, including things like exercising, taking care of pets, and assisting a loved ones.

The order’s exemption for religious services comes just days after pastor Rodney Howard-Brown was arrested and charged for holding regular services at his church in Tampa Bay, Florida, despite a “safer at home” order in effect in Hillsborough County.

Aside from repeatedly downplaying the virus’ threat, Howard-Brown has claimed to have special machines in place that can “kill” the virus.

“We brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place,” Howard-Browne said in a video posted to his YouTube channel. “If they sneeze it shoots it down like at 100 miles per hour and it will neutralize it in a split second.”

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.