THE Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Most Revd Michael Curry, called on Episcopalians to pray for President Trump and his wife, Melania, after it was announced that they had tested positive for Covid-19.
In a statement put out by the Episcopal News Service, Bishop Curry said: “During this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, I continue to pray for all affected by this virus in any way. At this particular moment, I ask that all Episcopalians also pray for the president and first lady, and all in the White House or government who have been infected by this virus.”
There followed the prayer “For Recovery from Sickness” from the US Book of Common Prayer: “O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with your children, the president and first lady, and all in the White House or government who have been infected by this virus, that their weakness may be banished and their strength restored; and that, their health being renewed, they may bless your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
President Trump had announced on Twitter last Friday that he and his wife had tested positive for coronavirus. Official sources reported that he was taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethseda, in Maryland, and treated with steroids on Friday and Saturday after his oxygen levels dropped twice.
The President’s physician, Dr Sean Conley, reported on Saturday that the President was responding well to treatment and had been without a fever for 24 hours. The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said on Saturday that President Trump’s condition was a cause for concern.
President Trump released a video message on Saturday evening. It showed him working, and in it he said that he and his wife were “doing well”. He appeared outside the hospital on Sunday, greeting supporters from behind the window of a sealed car. Staff at the medical centre said that he was increasing the risk of infection for those inside the car.
The President left the hospital on Monday to continue being treated at the White House, urging people in a video on Twitter not to let the virus “dominate” them.
The Archbishop of Canterbury wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he was “praying for President Trump, the First Lady, and their family and colleagues affected by the virus”, and “praying too for all the people of the United States at this acutely difficult time”.
The Prime Minister expressed his “best wishes to President Trump and the First Lady. Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus”.
The civil-rights activist and Baptist minister the Revd Jesse Jackson said on Twitter: “We sincerely pray the President and the First Lady do not have the worst of this disease. We must all pray for the full recovery of the President and his wife. For whatever religious or political persuasion you may be, we must all pray as millions of people are affected by this disease.”
The Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, said that he would “continue to pray for the health and safety of the President and his family”. In a telegram, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, told President Trump that he was sure that President Trump would recover.
A poll of 1006 potential American voters by John Zogby Strategies since President Trump was taken into hospital suggests that the President “is capturing a slight majority” of Roman Catholic voters (51-46 per cent) and Evangelicals (68-32 per cent), although overall Mr Biden has a two-point lead.