Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) has asked his constituents to again call on the Almighty for help in the fight against COVID-19.
KLFY-TV reports during a press conference on Thursday, Edwards asked all residents of the Pelican State to join him in three days of lunch fasting and prayer beginning Monday, July 20 through Wednesday, July 22. He called for the fasting and prayer for those who are sick, the caretakers, and for the families of those who have died from the coronavirus.
The governor invited everyone in the state to participate in the event regardless of their religious faith.
"I know it's a little bit unusual," Edwards said. "This will be a spiritual diet and exercise that I, as a Catholic Christian, believe is very important anyway."
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Edwards said the idea came from a telephone conference that he had last week with pastors across the state. The governor said he hosts the conference call with religious leaders every three weeks.
Louisiana has reported 24 new deaths, bringing its COVID-19 death toll to 3,375. The state currently has 1,400 hospitalized cases with the virus.
This is the second time in four months that Edwards has called for prayers and fasting for those affected by the coronavirus. Near the end of March, Edwards and his wife observed a day of prayer and fasting and invited others to participate.
The governor asked others to pray and fast with him "for comfort to those that have lost a loved one to COVID-19, the complete recovery of those that have tested positive, and that God will, as He has done before, heal His people and our land," according to The Catholic News Agency.
Edwards has also called for a mask mandate for all Louisiana residents. In a nine-page opinion released Wednesday, state Atty. General Jeff Landry called the governor's mask mandate "likely unconstitutional and unenforceable," according to KLFY.
During the press conference, Edwards said he disagreed with Landry and that his authority as governor, especially in this situation after an emergency declaration is binding.