A pastor from Idaho who refused to wear a mask is now in the ICU with COVID-19.
Paul Van Noy, the senior pastor at Candlelight Church in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, has been hospitalized for the past two weeks. The self-reported “no-masker” has had a rough time of the illness.
Five other church staff were infected but have made full recoveries, as ministry coordinator Eric Reade confirmed by way of CNN. Van Noy is looking to eventually move out of the ICU, but he needs “quite a bit of oxygen support” as it stands.
The pastor stated its wife had not been hospitalized with her COVID-19 infection. This likely happened as Van Noy said he “didn’t want to be told” to wear a mask. He also said he would continue holding in-person services if ordered to cease.
Van Noy took to Facebook in July claiming that masks do not prevent COVID-19 transmission. He also told churchgoers not to fear COVID-19. The church does not require that visitors wear masks though they can if they wish.
“May we keep our heads at a time like this,” Van Noy wrote on Facebook. “And, may we defend our freedoms lest they quickly disappear. We will not close down our church, we will not stop singing praises to the Lord, and we will not be required to wear masks or refrain from allowing those who wish to wear one the opportunity.”
The pastor holds incorrect views on masks
It isn’t clear if the pastor contracted COVID-19 due to his refusal to wear a mask. However, science indicates that wearing masks does indeed protect wearers and others from the illness.
It does not appear that, even after falling ill, Van Noy is interested in changing his policy.