On Friday, despite the fact that President Trump has to spend all his time dealing with the decisions to be made vis-a-vis the coronavirus, he heard that Vice President Mike Pence was about to join a conference call with 700 pastors and asked to join them so they could pray together.
As Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, which arranged the conference call, noted, Pence stated, “When I told the president I was going to be speaking to all of you, [he was] in the midst of an extraordinarily busy day. [But] he looked at me and said, ‘I have to find time. I need to find time.’” Pence noted, “The prayers of the people on this call mean [everything] to him…”
Perkins stated that Trump began by commenting that tt’s a “wild world,” that the coronavirus “came upon us so suddenly. And we were doing better than we’ve ever done before as a country in terms of the economy — and then, all of the sudden, we got hit with this. So we had to close it down. We’re actually paying a big price to close it down. Never happened before.” But then the president remained optimistic, saying, “I think we’re going to come back stronger than ever before.”
Trump told the pastors, “I want to thank you for praying for our country and for those who are sick. You do such an incredible job. You’re very inspirational people. And I’m with you all the way. You know that you see what we’ve done for right to life and all of the things that we’ve been working so hard together. I’ve been working with many of the people on the call. Many, many of the people. We’ve had tremendous support. But we are going to get over this.”
Perkins asked Trump for suggestions as to what Americans should pray for. Trump responded, “The health of the country; the strength of our country. We were doing something amazing, and then one day, it just ended. So that would be it.” After Perkins prayed for the president, Trump offered, “You know, you mentioned the word ‘stamina.’ We do need stamina. So thank you very much.”
After Trump left the call, Pence stated, “The president and I couldn’t be more inspired by the way communities of faith have been stepping up … You know, the president has said many times that we are going to we’re going to bring the full resources of our of our federal government to bear on this. But by all of you being here today, and by the energies and ministries that you have [used to response] to the coronavirus in your communities, you’re really putting hands and feet on your faith. And you are demonstrating what the president today called ‘the greatness of American character’ …And we want to urge you on. We want a full partnership with you in sharing best practices again.”
Pence encouraged Americans to pray for the experts counseling the administration. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson added, “God is merciful… And we will get through this.” He opined that the crisis Americans face may be an opportunity for God to show His power that will “help us return to Him.” He concluded, “God still has His hand on this nation. And He has His hand on all of us.”