Trump adviser urges followers to 'inoculate yourself with the word of God' against flu
Gloria Copeland told followers in a video that “we don’t have a flu season” and they should “not [accept] it when somebody threatens you with ‘Everybody’s getting the flu!’”
“We’ve already had our shot” thanks to God who “bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases”, Ms Copeland said in the clip promoting her ministry’s Miracles on the Mountain healing event.
The video has been viewed nearly 140,000 times on Facebook, and is also hosted on her UK website.
Along with her husband Ms Copeland established Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) five decades ago. The megachurch-style organisation has branches across the globe including in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The Copelands sit on Mr Trump’s evangelical executive advisory board, according to a campaign press release archived by the University of California at Santa Barbara.
In the 31 January video, Ms Copeland said: “Listen, partners. We don’t have a flu season. We’ve got a duck season, a deer season, but we don’t have a flu season.
“And don’t receive it when somebody threatens you with ’Everybody’s getting the flu!’ We’ve already had our shot, he bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases.
“That’s what we stand on. And by his stripes we were healed. If you’ve already got the flu I’m going to pray for you right now.
“Jesus himself gave us the flu shot. He redeemed us from the curse of flu and we receive it, and we take it, and we are healed by his stripes.
“Get on the word, stay on the word, and if you say, ‘Well, I don’t have any symptoms of the flu’, great, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
“Just keep saying that ‘I’ll never have the flu, I’ll never have the flu’. Put words, inoculate yourself with the word of God.”
In a comment underneath the video, the ministry posted: “Yes the Word of God is the BEST medicine!”
Since last October 231 people are thought to have died from the flu in the UK as infections hit their highest level since 2011.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans they should “get vaccinated if you haven’t yet”. There are “weeks of flu activity to come”, the agency said.
The Independent attempted to contact KCM in the US but was referred to a customer services supervisor whose phone went to voicemail. Further calls were not answered.
Staff in the group’s UK office were unavailable when approached for comment.
According to Mr Trump’s June 2016 press release his creation of the advisory board represented his “endorsement of those diverse issues important to Evangelicals and other Christians, and his desire to have access to the wise counsel of such leaders as needed”.
One of the board members, Jerry Falwell Jr, has strongly backed Mr Trump since the early days of his campaign.
Last year Mr Trump sent a letter from the White House to Mr Copeland, congratulating him on 50 years of his ministry and having “devoted your life to faith and humanity”.