Last week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) held an urgent briefing for pastors regarding the Chinese coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). Rubio, who is a known Christian, briefed pastors and Christian leaders on a conference call, which I was grateful to join.
The limit was 500, and the call filled up quickly. Even Rubio couldn’t get in at first! His team had to patch him in through a cellphone somehow.
The phone call itself wasn’t great quality, but the things Rubio shared were fantastic. In fact, I want to share that call with you today on my podcast. I think you’ll enjoy listening to Rubio and pastors across the nation intercede on America’s behalf.
John Stemberger hosted the call and interviewed Rubio. He then sent the link to everyone who joined, encouraging us to get as many as possible to listen to it. So after you listen to it today, make sure you share this article and podcast with as many of your friends as you can.
Stemberger started the call by asking Rubio how serious this crisis actually is. Some are saying the media is totally inflating the gravity of the situation whereas others are acting like it’s the end of the world.
Rubio took a more middle-ground approach, reminding those listening that this isn’t the bubonic plague. It’s not going to wipe out two-thirds or even a third of the population.
“But it’s still a very significant global event,” Rubio says. “And I think that to the extent that we believe that the U.S. media—somebody may believe that the U.S. media is overblowing it, but that doesn’t explain why virtually every other country in the world is taking extraordinary measures.”
Rubio says that if we do nothing to hinder the virus, it could possibly kill 2 million people. But even if it only kills a small fraction of our people, the virus will still overwhelm the hospital system with COVID-19 cases. Rubio says this moment in history calls for extreme humility.
“It’s a reminder that we are advanced creatures because we’re created in the image of God, but we’re not God,” he says. “There are still things—despite all the tools we’ve invented and all the advances we’ve made in science—there are still things in the world that we can’t control.”
This is why Americans must work hard to follow the CDC’s guidelines and slow down the spread of the virus. The point isn’t to eradicate the virus, but rather we’re trying to slow it down so we don’t inundate the hospitals beyond their capacity.
“It’s an enormous challenge that I think the church has a very important role to play in because right now people are scared,” Rubio says. “I think people are dealing with some realizations of the humility we need to have. And one more point I would make is I think people also are being reminded of how trivial so much that we focus on is. A lot of things will suddenly appear very trivial.”
Rubio said one crucial way pastors can respond to this need is by ministering to people in creative ways—even via live stream online. With so many feeling isolated, it’s also important to do what we can to connect with people, including dropping off meals with a note, picking up groceries for people, or even sending others to check on those living alone.
I encourage you to listen to the full call with Rubio. I think you’ll find it extremely insightful. After you listen, share this article on your social media so others can be just as informed as you are!