By George Miller
An informant claims that the parents of a friend who attend Calvary Chapel Godspeak in Newbury Park tested positive for COVID-19 recently. The informant says that they informed the church of this. The couple confirmed this and said they did not attend services after that, but refrained from further comments, deferring to church authorities. We are keeping the names confidential.
We initially received this message from the informant:
“Has two confirmed cases. (names redacted)—both notified the church who did nothing to warn parishioners and had services on Sunday. Its gonna be a mass spreader. They have infected people in the community.”
Informant added this later:
“First and foremost, please leave (names redacted) alone. They are very upset with me. They are VICTIMS of Rob McCoy’s greed and if we don’t shut down Godspeak, the entire community is set to become his victims as well.”
And still later:
The (couple-names redacted) were in Tahoe for two weeks. They came back home and attended Godspeak on the 15th. On Tuesday, (my friend- name redacted) came into contact with them. On Friday, for reasons unknown to me, the (couple-names redacted) tested positive and notified myself and (friend). We immediately quarantined and (friend) tested positive on Sat the 21st. It is my understanding the (couple-names redacted) informed church leadership on that Fri as well (20th). The church held normal services and made no covid announcements — which you can personally witness on their livestream dated 11/23/2020. No social distancing. No masks. Just anti-mask propaganda. We are mildly symptomatic at this time.
So far, proof is lacking that others were infected by them, but the informant claims that the couple infected her and her friend and that they both have mild symptoms. The informant says that the couple thinks they were infected at an outing in Tahoe, but informant claims that no one else at the event was positive. The couple has no symptoms, according to the church. The church and couple deny that they were infected at the church.
Godspeak was one of the first CA churches to open during the lockdown and subsequently refused to limit attendance, enforce social distancing or masks, although some attendees do. The church does take certain precautions. They are currently embroiled in litigation with Ventura County over noncompliance with County Health orders.
The informant claims that congregants were not informed of the positive tests, nor were services canceled. The informant also claims that the services are “hateful” and and that Pastor Rob McCoy says COVID is from the devil and caused by Joe Biden. We asked our faith reporter Michael Hernandez, who often covers Godspeak affairs about this and he said he has heard no such thing. Since the services are recorded and published on the web and Facebook, you can check for yourself at their youtube channel: Godspeak Livestream
When I spoke to Senior Pastor McCoy tonight, he said that it does not appear that the couple picked up COVID at the church and that they are asymptomatic.
He has no intention of closing down the church. When I asked him what precautions are taken, he said that they sanitize the church, ionize the air, use UV light, have people wash their hands, discourage high risk people from attending by encouraging them to watch services online. He says there have been a few cases he knows of among congregants, but none so far have been traced to Godspeak’s church services. We are aware of one previous COVID-19 illness in the congregation, a 96 year old man who was briefly hospitalized. McCoy said that Calvary Church Chino Hills, a far larger church with 4,000 congregants, is having no real problems either.
Pastor McCoy addresses this and more in a previously recorded session:
McCoy said that the COVID-19 situation severity is exaggerated, the numbers incorrect, that the risk of dying is .00001% and that the measures taken are causing far more damage than the pandemic itself. He believes that protecting the most vulnerable is the correct approach. He said hardly any county deaths were COVID-19 alone-caused, but nearly all had co-morbidities. When I pressed him for how many were primarily COVID, he wouldn’t give a number.
Editor’s note: There have only been three cases out of the 175 deaths countywide who had no comorbidities.
With at least 12 million known positive tests nationwide and growing rapidly, the probability of at least some infections in any large group is fairly high. The vast majority of infections show no symptoms. The vast majority with symptoms recover. Older people with co-morbidity- serious illnesses, are most at risk and should consider staying home. While the case rate is expanding rapidly, the death rate has plunged, although it has ticked slightly upward this fall.
When I asked McCoy if he had any other comments, he first pointed to ” CA Gov Newsom, issuer of lockdown orders, who hypocritically holds luxurious dinners for 22- $15,000 for liquor alone, with maskless, shoulder-to-shoulder health officers…. and he is laughing at us.” He also remarked on Ventura County Health Officer Robert Levin’s recent 12.5% pay raise. Levin is the official who interprets CA guidance and issues the health orders which have allegedly enabled litigation against the church by the county.
Godspeak also has lots of online subscribers- about 17,000 we are told, far more than physically attend services. Thousands often view Sunday services and they have had about 1,000,000 viewers of their “fireside chats,” regionally, nationwide and even abroad.
George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.