“The county is very concerned about the public health impacts that could result from an event like this if it were to take place, especially as we continue to see a high number of cases and a large number of people. in hospitals that are infected with Covid-19, ”Dr. Muntu Davis, the Los Angeles County health official, told reporters earlier on Friday.
“Sun Valley and surrounding areas continue to have some of the highest rates of Covid-19 cases in the county, and have been for some time,” said Dr Davis, “and a rally of this magnitude will create additional opportunities for Covid-19. transmission, both to those attending this gathering and to others in the community.
In its lawsuit last August against Mr. MacArthur and Grace Community Church, Los Angeles County argued that it openly defied the rules against indoor church services.
The county pointed to an interview Mr MacArthur did with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in which Mr MacArthur said he held a Sunday service for 3,000 people who “hugged each other and they weren’t wearing masks. and they sang songs. “
Mr. MacArthur had argued that government officials had no power to prohibit such services, indicating that the Scriptures stated that “no earthly state has the right to restrict, delimit or prohibit the gathering of believers. ”
Mr MacArthur also downplayed the severity of the virus. In a sermon last August, he drew applause when he said, “There is no pandemic,” and argued that the number of Covid-related deaths had been inflated.
“There is another virus roaming free in the world,” Mr. MacArthur said, “and that is the virus of deception.”
Last week, the United States Supreme Court partially lifted restrictions on religious services in California, blocking a total ban but leaving in place a 25% capacity restriction and a ban on singing and singing. The decision was a partial victory for churches that had argued that restrictions imposed by Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, violated constitutional protection for the free exercise of religion.