HHS Acts to Preserve Religious Freedom at Hospitals During Pandemic

Virginia Allen @Virginia_Allen5 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took two important steps Tuesday to protect religious freedom during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The agency’s Office for Civil Rights announced that patients at hospitals within the University of Maryland Medical System may receive visits by clergy amid the pandemic.

And, the office said, a medical student at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City may follow his religious belief by not shaving his beard despite having to wear a mask.  

“We can protect people’s physical safety and their spiritual and emotional well-being at the same time,” Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon. “Those two things are not in tension and when we protect both, we actually protect the mental health as well as the physical health.” 

Religious liberty doesn’t cease to be a fundamental human right during a pandemic,” Ryan T. Anderson, a research fellow specializing in religious liberty at The Heritage Foundation, said in an email to The Daily Signal. “As these HHS resolutions demonstrate, we can combat COVID-19 and respect religious liberty.” 

Covid-19 numbers

Average # of Deaths

New Jersey 1718 per million = .17 mortality rate

New York 1651 per million

Florida 172 per million = .017 mortality rate

Texas 91 per million

Average of all states in the U.S. 400 per million = .04 mortality rate.

Here in America we hear how bad it is, and even one death is tragic, but these numbers put into perspective how the media is pushing Florida and Texas as outbreaks. Deaths have gone down all during this rise in cases. Cases are up, but deaths are down and in Florida the bulk of all new cases are in the 30-40 year old age bracket. Many are only sick for 3 or 4 days and get well. Herd immunity is at work. Praise the Lord.