There is no pandemic, according to John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. MacArthur’s statement comes after the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated information about COVID-19 deaths in the United States. MacArthur, who has famously fought the regulations currently in place for houses of worship in California, told his congregation on August 30th that due to that report, “for the first time, we heard the truth.”
In referring to the report released by the CDC last week, MacArthur told his congregation, “I don’t want to offer myself as any kind of an expert, but a rather telling report came out this week and for the first time, we heard the truth. The CDC…said that in truth, six percent of the deaths that have occurred can be directly attributable to COVID. Ninety-four percent cannot. Of the 160,000 people that have died, 9,210 actually died from COVID.”
“There is no pandemic,” MacArthur declared, to the thunderous applause of the congregation.
MacArthur said that he and others in the church had been “suspicious” of the fact that “we’ve been meeting together now for weeks and weeks and weeks, we don’t know anyone who’s ill. No one in our congregation has been to the hospital with this.”
The pastor went on to explain that he believes another, more serious virus than the coronavirus is affecting us: That of deception. “The one who’s behind the virus of deception is the arch-deceiver, Satan himself,” MacArthur explained. Alluding to the church’s ongoing battle with the state over its in-person services, MacArthur said, “It’s not a surprise to me that in the midst of all this deception, the great effort that is going on is to shut down churches that preach the Gospel.”
Further, MacArthur insinuated that there are some, in government perhaps, who are complicit with Satan’s agenda of deception: “The architects of this level of deception are not a part of the Kingdom of Heaven; they’re a part of the kingdom of darkness.”
What Does the CDC Report Say?
Almost immediately after the CDC released its report last week, social media users took the information and ran with it. Confusion over the information spread like wildfire. One tweet in particular, originating from “Mel Q” was actually retweeted by President Donald Trump. The tweet, which has since been removed by Twitter, accused the CDC of “quietly updat[ing] the Covid number to admit that only 6 [percent] of all the 153,504 deaths recorded actually died from Covid. That’s 9,210 deaths.”
It’s not clear where MacArthur got his information about 9,210 deaths, since that number does not appear anywhere in the CDC report. However, that number was widely circulated on social media platforms.
Many were confused by the CDC report, and it’s not surprising. The information is dense and requires a trained eye to interpret; the six percent statement shows up in Table 3, which is nestled between other tables of information and numbers.
The misinformation about the report spread so extensively that the CDC was compelled to do some explaining. Speaking to CNN, Bob Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at the CDC, explained that the misinformation being spread was a case of misinterpreting standard death certificate language. “In 94 percent of deaths with COVID-19, other conditions are listed in addition to COVID-19. These causes may include chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension,” Anderson said in a statement. The six percent of deaths account for those certificates that list COVID-19 only as the cause of death.