Eleven students at Liberty University are reporting coronavirus symptoms after the president of the private evangelical school decided to reopen the campus.
Jerry Falwell Jr., the university president, ignored health organizations’ warnings about the coronavirus when he decided to allow students to return to the university after spring break.
“Liberty has a responsibility to students—who paid to be here, who want to be here, who love it here—to give them the ability to be with their friends, to continue their studies, enjoy the room and board they’ve already paid for, and to not interrupt their college life,” he told the Richmond-Times Dispatch.
About 1,900 students returned after spring break last week. However, since students started reporting symptoms, about 800 have returned home, according to the Daily Mail.
The university president has criticized the media for “exaggerating” the international pandemic. In addition, he’s floated baseless conspiracy theories, such as the idea that North Korea created the coronavirus, according to the Daily Mail.
Social distancing is crucial for stopping the spread of the coronavirus. It helps protect at-risk communities, like immunocompromised and the elderly.
People on Twitter are enraged about the university president’s defiance.
“I cannot understand the resistance of some conservatives Christians (and Catholics) to listen to public health officials. Hatred of government? Arrogance? Stupidity? Selfishness? Their intransigence leads to infections and death. It is anti-life,” Jesuit priest James Martin tweeted.
The priest wasn’t the only one who felt this way.
Many thought the decision to bring students back to Liberty University amid the coronavirus pandemic was irresponsible. One Twitter user even called it “criminal negligence.”
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H/T Daily Mail