The Daily Beast
Days after leading thousands of maskless worshippers across the eastern seaboard, Evangelical singer and activist Sean Feucht posted a photo of his family, masked, at the doors of the West Wing.Though it was unclear if Feucht went inside the White House on Friday, he has previously visited the landmark to pray with President Trump. And Feucht’s photo was posted just one day before five members of Vice President Mike Pence’s team were reported to have been sickened by the novel coronavirus.The musician and activist’s “Let Us Worship” tour has gathered hundreds and thousands of Christians all over the nation—in Nashville, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and more—during the middle of a deadly pandemic, often in defiance of local mandates and federal guidelines. If the White House really has given up on controlling the coronavirus pandemic, as a top official suggested on cable news Sunday, bringing Feucht onto the White House grounds in the middle of a potential superspreader tour could serve as a fresh data point.Last week, Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University who advises the World Health Organization, told The Daily Beast that Sunday’s massive service would “almost certainly” lead “to a superspreader event—and cause many new cases, hospitalization, and even death. It violates virtually every principle to mitigate this pandemic.” Other experts have said remarkably similar things about Feucht’s rallies in other cities in recent weeks.Feds to Let 15,000 Worship on National Mall—Masks Be DamnedRequests for comment seeking more information about Feucht’s presence from the White House were not immediately returned on Monday. Feucht also did not return a request for comment from The Daily Beast.By Sunday evening, Feucht was sharing how overwhelmed he was by his weekend in the nation’s capitol—and evidence, in his mind, that he had made a difference.“YOU KNOW YOU’RE BREAKING THROUGH IN DC WHEN A SATANIST DUMPS A BOWL OF BLOOD ON YOUR TEAM!!!” Feucht tweeted on Sunday evening. “You can’t keep our joy down devils!! GOD WINS!!”Feucht’s tweet showed an image of the senior pastor of a Minnesota-based church, Charles Karuku, standing in a blue poncho at the National Mall on Sunday night, dripping in what appeared to be blood.The surreal imagery punctuated a weekend in which thousands of worshipers had gathered to praise Jesus and to protest COVID-19 restrictions. The event served as the finale show for Feucht’s tour, which has drawn ire and outrage for its large services—some indoors, some outdoors.For his part, Karuku posted on Facebook that “WITCHES ARE RATTLED,” along with a video of himself drenched in bright red liquid.“THEIR POWER IS BROKEN,” Karuku wrote. “Someone dumped a vial of blood on me as I was leaving the Washington Mall. Thank God I was wearing a mask and a poncho. I’m gonna keep the blood stained clothes as a badge of honor for Jesus! Pleading the blood of Jesus. This movement is unstoppable.”> YOU KNOW YOU’RE BREAKING THROUGH IN DC WHEN A SATANIST DUMPS A BOWL OF BLOOD ON YOUR TEAM!!! > > You can’t keep our joy down devils!! GOD WINS!!LetUsWorship pic.twitter.com/FM4WF5dP0O> > — Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) October 26, 2020On Saturday, Feucht held what he claimed a longtime activist called the “largest prayer meeting in front of the Supreme Court since Roe V Wade,” along with an “impromptu” worship concert.“It was supposed to be a small group of leaders hippie style on the grass and turned into 1000+ friends,” Feucht tweeted about a communion he held.On Sunday evening, a four-hour event saw hundreds—and then thousands—gathered on the National Mall. The Christian Broadcasting Network reported that the crowd swelled to “more than 35,000,” though that figure did not appear to be based on any official estimate.A copy of the event permit for the rally, issued last week, showed that Feucht and his organizers expected about 15,000 attendees. About 7,000 people officially registered for the event, according to the permit, which was approved by the National Park Service. The document listed a brief “COVID-19 Mitigation Plan,” outlining measures like “a sign placed at the table where we will give away bibles,” “masks and gloves provided,” and “sanitation stations.” A National Park Service spokesman told The Daily Beast last week that, “as with all permit applications, we are discussing the COVID-19 mitigation plan with the event organizers, but that plan is not a requirement or condition of the permit.”“While the National Park Service strongly encourages social distancing, the use of masks, and other measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, we will not require nor enforce their use,” the spokesperson added.As for what actually took place this weekend, “there was prayer, singing and baptisms, but virtually no social distancing or mask-wearing,” according to local CBS affiliate WUSA9-TV.Sunday’s event occurred just a few weeks after Feucht was featured at another worship service at the Lincoln Memorial, where Vice President Pence surprised attendees by making an unexpected appearance. Pence was seen joining in prayer with the mostly maskless crowd at that event.Amid the outbreak among his staffers, the vice president’s office announced Monday that he had again tested negative for COVID-19. He continued to face questions about his travel schedule in the face of possible exposure.Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, of Missouri, took the stage on Sunday to pray in honor of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who was expected to be confirmed Monday.“Tomorrow night is the final vote on the floor of the United States Senate to confirm a justice who is not ashamed to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,” Hawley said. “She's not ashamed to say that every life has dignity, that every life is worth saving. She’s not afraid to say that abortion is wrong and that every child in America has the right to life.”Abigail Marone, a staffer for President Trump’s re-election campaign, shared a video of the Sunday service’s massive size, tweeting: “This is what happens when you close our churches.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.