At least 3 peaths and 147 Covid-19 cases are now linked to a mask-defying church at the center of a “deadly” Maine wedding in August, a state CDC spokesman said Saturday, according to CNN. But the pastor who officiated the wedding doesn’t seem bothered by the death toll.
Pastor Todd Bell of the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford, Maine, who is famous for flying between ministries in multiple states on his private plane (God “burdened” his heart to do airplane ministry, he says), flew in to officiate a rural Maine wedding on August 7. He says that masks are part of a “socialistic platform.” Now three people are dead and nearly 150 COVID-19 patients have been linked to the event.
As noted by CNN, “the August 7 wedding was a super-spreader event.” Sixty-five guests attended the event at the Big Moose Inn, a violation of the state’s limit on large gatherings. Officiated by Bell, the celebration went on to sicken guests, some of whom in turn passed it on to people in particularly vulnerable communities.
According to the report, “COVID-19 outbreaks at a local rehabilitation center, a senior living facility, a county jail, and a school have all been traced back to the wedding. The number of cases linked to the event has doubled in the past week.”
One of the victims, 83-year-old Theresa Dentremont, did not attend the wedding, but caught COVID-19 from someone who had. A mother of six, Dentremont was described in an obituary as the “anchor of her family” and someone who was “unwaveringly positive and…always found the good in every person and every situation.”
Despite a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Calvary Baptist church-goers should voluntarily quarantine, the church was still in full unmasked operation last week.
In his sermon, Bell railed against vaccines and slammed anti-coronavirus measures. He also spent part of the sermon lashing out at people who had criticized him on social media.
Maine CDC is investigating other points of connection with the group, including the ceremony held at Tri-Town Baptist Church, according to the report.