Beyond the disease itself, many concerns come along with a global pandemic such as coronavirus. From misinformation to rampant xenophobia, it is on each of us to stay healthy while also seeking out truthful facts and avoiding racist stereotyping. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will look into the latest news and key players in this global crisis.

It came as a surprise to many that the person put in charge of handling our response to this public health crisis is none other than career politician, Vice President Mike Pence. Tom LoBianco, author of the book Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House, will join State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy to reflect on Pence’s history responding to public health crises as governor of Indiana, and how that might influence his decision-making today.

As reports of coronavirus began to multiply, the greatest number of victims was seen in China’s Hubei Province, necessarily impacting Chinese-American communities in this country first. Yonat Shimron, senior editor at Religion News Service, reported on the response from houses of worship serving Chinese-American communities in her article US Chinese churches on the front lines of coronavirus vigilance
and will join Welton to discuss that response.

Throughout the Trump administration, polls have shown unwavering loyalty from white evangelicals for the president. Now, the Public Religion Research Institute has come out with an update, which shows remarkably consistent support (and, on the other side, opposition) no matter what events drive the news cycles. Welton will sit down with Dr. Natalie Jackson, PRRI director of research, to discuss the new report: Despite Chaos and Controversy, Trump Favorability Stable Throughout 2019.

On Wednesday, February 27th, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing on the grave risks facing LGBTQ+ persons as the political religious right relentlessly fights to redefine the cornerstone principle of religious liberty. Welton was asked to submit testimony to the committee, and we persuaded him to share those words with all of us to close out the show.

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