VP Pence Mocked for Opening Coronavirus Task Force Meeting with Prayer, but He’s in Good Company

Vice President Mike Pence meets with the President’s Coronavirus Taskforce Wednesday, February 26, 2020, in his West Wing Office of the White House. | Official White House photo by D. Myles Cullen

The Coronavirus is a major concern to millions of people worldwide but apparently, to some on Twitter, a prayer to God from Vice President Pence about the deadly virus is also a concern. Recently, Pence opened up an administration task force meeting with a prayer and the photo went semi-viral as many on Twitter had quite a few unkind words to say about it. Clearly, in today’s divisive and toxic culture, not even a simple prayer is off-limits to criticism, especially when it comes from Vice President Pence, a man who takes his Christian faith very seriously.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, a writer for New York Magazine and Harper’s Magazine tweeted about the photo and it took off like wildfire. He tweeted the following: “Mike Pence and his coronavirus emergency team praying for a solution. We are so screwed.” A tweet by Playboy White House Correspondent Brian Karem chimed in with this: “Clear that @vp and @realdonaldtrump are in over their heads. POTUS is literally praying for a miracle to make coronavirus go away.” Thousands of others followed with snarky tweets of their own.

As Christians, we know that prayer is an act of surrender. We pray because we realize that we don’t have answers to all of life’s questions and we need God’s guidance. Mike Pence is clearly praying to God for wisdom regarding how the government should combat the coronavirus and that should not be controversial. In May 2018, I spoke to the vice president about how this White House is constantly on its knees in prayer. “There’s prayer going on on a regular basis in this White House,” Pence told me. “It’s one of the most meaningful things to me, whether it’s public meetings or not.”

It should come as no surprise that past administrations relied on prayer frequently during a crisis. Take, for example, President Bill Clinton. In the mid-1990s, as America was preparing to invade Haiti, Clinton’s speechwriter wrote a line, that said, “no president makes decisions like this one without deep thought.” But Clinton said something was missing. He added the word prayer so it read, “thoughts and prayers.”

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