New Birth Missionary Baptist Church pastor Jamal Bryant warned his congregation in Stonecrest, Georgia, that the popular brand of disinfectant and antiseptic known as Lysol will not protect them from Covid-19 caused by the new coronavirus, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it can.
“They are calling it in clinical terms the novel coronavirus. It’s clinical name is SARS-CoV-2. ... The World Health Organization said two weeks ago in their press release, ‘we could not heal it until we named it. ... As long as it didn’t have a name we couldn’t identify it. We had to identify it that this is different than any other strand of virus that has been dispatched because coronavirus is not new," Bryant told his congregants in a teaching session centered around the coronavirus on Tuesday.
"You’ll see it is on the label for Lysol, it’s on the label for Pine-Sol, but this is not that strand. And those who are trying to cleanse and purify themselves with Lysol and Pine-Sol thinking it’s gon’ heal it, don’t realize it’s not that.”
That same day, the EPA released a list of registered products for use against the new coronavirus from brands such as Clorox and Lysol. Specific products listed include: Clorox toilet cleaner with bleach, Clorox disinfecting spray, Lysol disinfectant max cover mist, Lysol toilet bowl cleaners, and Lysol multi-surface cleaner and disinfectant spray.
An EPA spokesperson told ABC News that companies with registered brands had to demonstrate their products are effective against viruses that are even "harder-to-kill" than the novel coronavirus.
The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible to protect against the virus because hand-washing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands.
If soap and water are not available, however, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help people avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.
So far, 11 deaths have been linked to the virus — one in California and the rest in the Seattle area — with more than 162 confirmed cases across the country, The New York Times reported. With new infections reported in New Jersey and Tennessee, the number of states with infected patients has risen to 18.
Globally, more than 90,000 people have been infected with the new coronavirus with more than 3,100 dying from the virus which currently has no vaccine and is described as deadlier than the flu. Israel and the U.S. are both working on vaccines for the virus that has two strains.
In Bryant's discussion with his church about the virus on Tuesday, he explained that just a month before the coronavirus became an issue in the U.S., the church opened a food ministry with donations from local supermarket chains and businesses to serve approximately 300 families weekly called “The King’s Table,” and asked his church to be prepared and ready to help if the coronavirus outbreak worsens in the coming weeks.
“While you’re at home I need you to do inventory on the expiration dates of the canned food, non-perishable items you already have. I need you to do inventory on that. I need you to be mindful over the next four to six weeks. I need you while you are in the supermarket, while you’re shopping for yourself online, I need you to start buying extra groceries for twofold,” Bryant said.
He then explained why.
“You don’t know if they announce this pandemic negroes are gonna empty everything out. Y’all been there. If it looks like it’s gon’ snow in Atlanta, y’all buy food you don’t even eat. You’ve got Cool Ranch Doritos. You don’t even eat them but you got them still in there from the last storm,” he said.
Bryant also urged his congregants to stock enough supplies just in case the church needed to call upon them to help others.
“You’ll notice that we have, proactively here at your church, as of Sunday we now have at every exit, every entrance, we now have hand sanitizing stations because we want to be mindful and we want to be proactive,” he said.
The megachurch pastor also urged his church to start checking more frequently on their older adult family members since they are among the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
“This is where we have to start functioning and operating as family,” he told his church.
He then said New Birth will also be committed to helping the poor through the crisis as needed.
“Malcolm X said … when white America catches a cold then black America gets pneumonia. Yeah. The reality is the stock market is plummeting already 300 points as of Friday. The interest rate has already been reduced by half point … the people who are gonna be impacted the most are those who are at the lowest economic strata. Everybody who is running for president is running to talk about protecting the taxes of the affluent and the wealthy and maintaining the lifestyle of the middle class, and nobody has an agenda for the poor,” he said.
“God is saying to us, the agenda and issue of the poor is not for politicians, it’s for the church. He says what you do for the least of these is how you treat me. Some of you all are never gonna be good Christians because you got amnesia and think you always been where you are,” he said, recalling how when people lacked they trusted God to provide.
“It ain’t nothing worse than saved middle class ‘bougie’ believers,” he said.
“I’m saying this to you in front of my deacons, in front of the elders, in front of our leaders. What God may call us to do in the next six weeks will not mirror our budget. When we were putting together our 2020 budget, the coronavirus was nowhere in here. But if God has given us all of this land, all of this property, all of these buildings, then New Birth has got to stand as an epicenter and a resource so that God will know this is a church that doesn’t just sing, shout, preach and pray, because we are not just hearers of the word but we are doers also,” Bryant added.