The founder of MyPillow, a staunch supporter of President Trump, on Monday urged Americans to focus on religion as state and federal leaders encourage citizens to remain at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump invited Mike Lindell to speak in the Rose Garden during a news briefing about the White House’s coronavirus response. Lindell outlined what his company is doing to try to assist businesses as they face material shortages and logistical challenges due to the pandemic, including manufacturing masks and gowns for hospitals, before delivering a lecture about the role of religion in the country.
“God gave us grace on Nov. 8, 2016, to change the course we were on,” Lindell said, referencing the day of Trump’s election. “God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God. I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word, read our Bibles and spend time with our families.”
Lindell, standing behind a podium bearing the presidential seal, said Trump “gave us so much hope” and cited the strong economy that has since cratered due to the virus.
“With our great president, vice president, and this administration and all the great people in this country praying daily, we will get through this and get back to a place that’s stronger and safer than ever,” he said.
“I did not know he was going to do that, but he’s a friend of mine, and I do appreciate it,” Trump said as Lindell stepped off stage.
The president has used the coronavirus briefings to showcase U.S. companies involved in the response to the virus, though Lindell strayed into the political, while other executives have not.
Lindell has long been a supporter of the president. He donated $2,700 to Trump in 2016, according to OpenSecrets, and gave thousands more to the Republican National Committee.
Trump opened Monday’s Rose Garden events by touting that the U.S. had tested 1 million people for the coronavirus. He went on to showcase a new machine from Abbott that can produce test results in less than 15 minutes.
Roughly 160,000 Americans have tested positive for the virus.
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