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A US Mayor who refused to mandate masks without a sign from the Holy Spirit just got COVID

If Tennessee Mayor Bill Newman was waiting for a sign from the Holy Spirit to make face masks compulsory, I think he got it.

On Friday, Middle Tennessee Mayor Bill Newman tested positive for coronavirus.

Newman’s infection comes just one month after he dismissed a compulsory mask order on the basis that he needed the Holy Spirit to affirm the decision.

Bill Newman covid
Photograph: Elk Valley Times

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,300 Tennessee County residents have contracted COVID-19, with neighbour Lincoln County currently recording 35-40 new cases per day.

Tennessee is one of the 14 states in the US that are heading into the holidays without a mask mandate.

The Mayor, an Auburn University-trained veterinarian, announced in late November: “I do believe masking helps prevent the spread of it, but I don’t feel I should mandate people wearing masks at this time.” 

The Holy Spirit dwells within us. When I pray for guidance, I may not know the answer immediately… It’s a heart thing, but you’re using all your God-given talents, your physical, mental or spiritual.”

The county of 34,000 seem to have a different opinion to the Mayor’s strong reliance on the big man upstairs. One citizen mentioned that “the Holy Spirit will never advise us to do anything harmful to others. He is making a mockery of it”. 

There is even a 430-strong Facebook page called MaskUpLincolnCo, imploring the Mayor to mandate compulsory face masks. Page Administrator Kay Campbell mentions: “he’s ducking behind the Holy Spirit… we have all talked to the Holy Spirit and gotten different ideas.”

I know the Lord works in mysterious ways, however, I think the biggest mystery here is why Newman “still feels the same way”  about waiting for a sign while in quarantine, as reported by Secretary Dora Barnes.

If contracting COVID-19 wasn’t sign enough for Newman to mandate masks, I’m not sure what is.