Monday, March 30, 2020
A Florida sheriff announced an arrest warrant for a controversial pastor on Monday, after the religious leader refused to stop holding packed church services amid the coronavirus outbreak. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said at a press conference that Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is wanted on charges of unlawful assembly and violation of public health rules after flouting social distancing orders at The River at Tampa Bay church. Howard-Browne--an ally of President Donald Trump--has been an outspoken opponent of social distancing requirements, claiming his church has machines that can stop the coronavirus and vowing to personally cure the state of Florida himself.
At services on March 15, Howard-Browne encouraged his parishioners to shake hands to show they weren't afraid of contracting the coronavirus and vowed his church "will never close."
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