President Donald Trump has declared Sunday a “National Day of Prayer” for those affected by the spreading coronavirus.
Trump made the proclamation on Friday, the same day he declared a national emergency over the outbreak of COVID-19. As of Sunday morning, nearly 3,000 cases and 57 deaths had been confirmed in the United States, according to a Johns Hopkins database. Worldwide, 156,400 cases have been confirmed along with 5,833 deaths.
In a statement, Trump noted that millions of Americans were unable to gather at places of worship this week. He urged people “of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers for all those affected, including people who have suffered harm or lost loved ones.”
Americans must remember that “no problem is too big for God to handle,” he said.
“In our times of greatest need, Americans have always turned to prayer to help guide us through trials and periods of uncertainty,” Trump said. “I ask you to join me in a day of prayer for all people who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and to pray for God’s healing hand to be placed on the people of our nation.”
“We should all take to heart the holy words found in 1 Peter 5:7: ‘Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you,’” he continued. “Let us pray that all those affected by the virus will feel the presence of our Lord’s protection and love during this time. With God’s help, we will overcome this threat.”
Trump pairs day of prayer with financial aid to battle coronavirus
The president also delivered a similar message Friday on Twitter, saying: “No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!”
….No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2020
CNN Business reported that many churches have seen a surge in viewership of their livestream services during the coronavirus outbreak. A spokesperson for the Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, which is based in Seattle, told the network that it saw its live-stream viewership more than double last week.
By declaring a national emergency, Trump allowed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to tap into billions of dollars and mobilize personnel more quickly to help state and local agencies and leaders respond.
Trump also announced on Friday that he would be waiving interest on “all student loans held by federal government agencies” until further notice. A number of colleges across the country have closed their campuses amid the outbreak.