Texas televangelist Gloria Copeland went on a rant against vaccines, specifically the flu shot, on a video posted to Facebook.
Copeland opened by saying, “Listen partners, we don’t have a flu season.”
“We’ve already had our shot,” she said. She clarified that she was referring to Jesus, not an actual inoculation: “He bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases.”
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She then prayed for people that have “symptoms of flu” to be healed before going into a longer rant about the flu shot.
“Jesus himself gave us the flu shot,” she said as she explained that people have “already” been healed. “He redeemed us from the curse of flu.”
Copeland then blamed the flu on negative thoughts: “If you say, ‘I don’t have any symptoms of the flu,’ well great, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Just keep saying ‘I’ll never have the flu. I’ll never have the flu.’ Put words. Inoculate yourself with the word of God.”
This is not the first time that Gloria and her husband Kenneth Copeland have dispensed anti-medicine advice. In 2013, an outbreak of the measles – which was almost eliminated in the U.S. years ago – was connected to the Copelands’ Eagle Mountain International Church in Texas. Over twenty people caught the disease, and many of them were not vaccinated after receiving what doctors called “bad information” about vaccines at the church.
“You don’t take the word of the guy that’s trying to give the shot about what’s good and what isn’t,” Kenneth had preached in a 2010 broadcast, explaining why people should trust him instead of real doctors.
The Copelands have done well for themselves, earning millions throughout their careers and living in a $6.3 million mansion paid for by the church and using its $20 million private jet for vacations.
In 2015, they were criticized by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight for their luxurious, tax-exempt lifestyle.