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Pastor Jamal Bryant Postpones COVID-19 Testing Following Backlash For Charging The Community

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Pastor Jamal Bryant has postponed a drive-thru CODID-19 testing event following backlash for charging for the (usually free) tests! More inside…

 

Pastor Jamal Bryant is getting blasted on social media amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Pastor Bryant’s megachurch – New Birth Baptist Church in Lithonia, GA – posted on social media that they were providing COVID-19 testing to minorities. According to the flyer, 1,000 people would be able to stop by their drive-thru testing site to get tested for the deadly virus. However, it would cost them!

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The church was offering to test 1,000 people for $150 and would charge $25 for the assessment, which is a grand total of $150,000.

Most testing sites offer the service for free.

The event was originally scheduled for April 4th and 5th , but was recently postponed due to Governor Brian Kemp's “shelter in place order,” according to the church’s official Instagram account.

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"To remain compliant with Governor Brian Kemp's executive order, which is being signed today and goes into effect on Friday, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and various medical partners will postpone the COVID-19 testing scheduled for this weekend," the caption read in the postponement announcement. "We look forward to coordinating with our local and state officials to support flattening the curve in Georgia and helping to heal our nation and our world from this global pandemic."

The COVID-19 testing prices had folks sounding off on social media, calling the church a "disgrace" and "disgusting" while accusing Pastor Bryant of capitalizing on a pandemic. Below are a few tweets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Twitter user questioned if the COVID-19 tests were real:

 

 

If you haven't heard, scammers have been setting up drive-up testing sites with fake tests.

MSN reports:

"The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic, and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated," Attorney General William Barr said in a memo to federal prosecutors across the country last month, urging a crackdown on a constellation of schemes targeting the public.

Authorities in Kentucky have been investigating drive-up testing sites promising same-day results for $250. A Texas-based website was offering a coronavirus "vaccine" until authorities won a restraining order against its operators. In Virginia, telephone scammers, posing as local hospital representatives, warned residents of possible virus exposure and sought to lure them to sham test sites.

As part of the federal effort, the Justice Department has directed all 94 U.S. attorneys to appoint a coordinator for all virus-fraud cases in their districts, raising the prospect that those who threatened or attempted to spread the virus could be charged with federal terrorism offenses because the virus could be classified as a biological agent.

"Capitalizing on this crisis to reap illicit profits or otherwise preying on Americans is reprehensible and will not be tolerated," Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a separate memo to federal prosecutors last week.

 

As for New Birth's COVID-19 testing, Dr. Tisha Rowe - founder of RoweDocs - told CBS46 that the church was NOT trying to profit from the event.

"No one is profiting from this project not myself, not New Birth, not the lab," said Dr. Rowe. "When we order labs, we have to pay for supplies, we have to pay the person who draws your lab. If you cannot afford $150 to get tested, the next best option is to go to the health department," said Dr. Rowe.

Dr. Rowe also said New Birth is now actively seeking grants to help with costs and some insurance companies may provide reimbursements.

On a positive note, Pastor Bryant and New Birth have been offering free food for people in need:

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We thank God for everyone who came out to volunteer and service the community. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What an honor it was on today to be a blessing to those who came to pick up free groceries. Over the past 3 weeks, weekly we’ve been blessed to fed over a 1,000 our King’s Table and provide drive thru prayer for those in need. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The King’s Table will be open again on Saturday, April 11th from 10AM-2PM. If you would like to donate you can go to www.newbirth.org, drop off non perishables at the receptacles or thekingstable@newbirth.org to volunteer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #newbirthnow #jamalbryant #newbirthcathedral #kingstable

A post shared by New Birth MBC (@newbirthmbc) on

 

 

 

Photo: New Birth's IG

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