March 20, 2020 | IFA Staff
Yesterday IFA had the opportunity to join thousands of faith leaders from across the country on a phone meeting with Dr. Deborah Birx, leader of the Coronavirus Task Force, and other White House staff, including Shannon Royce, Director of the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at HHS.
CHECK OUT THE COVID-19 PRAYER WALL! TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PRAYERS HAVE BEEN POSTED.
The call started with the staff thanking the faith community for the thousands and thousands of encouraging messages and prayers that have been sent. Be encouraged! They know you are praying. And, in fact, one Vice President Pence’s staff joined the call and shared that VP Pence derives strength from knowing people are praying for him. Send VP Pence a message that you are praying for him–just click HERE and you can send an email.
One thing that was repeatedly emphasized was that faith leaders are key to the community response to this crisis. They encouraged us to stay calm and lead with calm and share only accurate information, which you can find at
They urged faith leaders to remember and share that social distancing should not lead to social isolation. In fact, the White House is emphasizing this with leaders. Nothing takes the place of hearing a human voice. Think of the people you know who are now isolated, and it’s not just seniors, but also people who live alone. Texts and Facebook messages are not as connecting as an actual phone call, Skype, or FaceTime.
They also asked everyone to read and understand the federal guidelines: 15 Days to Slow the Spread. These guidelines are not law. However, your state and/or municipality may have passed laws about the virus. Check with your state and mayor/county/municipality if you have questions about that.
Here are just a few facts that were shared that are different than what you may see on social media or maybe even the mainstream media. Dr. Birx said that asymptomatic people spread the disease, which is one reason for the guidelines. That means some people have no symptoms but are infected and can spread it to vulnerable populations. Also, the coronavirus seems to affect men worse than women, so Dr. Birx urged women to take extra care in order to protect men. Finally, a vaccine is expected in 2021.