Featured Image
 Doug Mills/ Pool /Getty Images

LifeSite’s previous (and future) live updates on the coronavirus crisis and how it relates to issues our readers care about can be viewed HERE.

March 27, 2020, 2:26 p.m. EST: During his Urbi et Orbi blessing and speech about the coronavirus, the Vatican reports that Pope Francis said:

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you. This Lent your call reverberates urgently: “Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others. We can look to so many exemplary companions for the journey, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. This is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial.

And the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a massive $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill that, among many other things, provides small businesses and certain non-profits money to fund their payroll during the period of the crisis. It is worded in such a way that Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion chain, will not be able to access such funds.

A petition asking World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to resign over his suspicious ties to Communist China has reached 50,000 signatures. 

Reports are surfacing that coronavirus test kits China gave or sold to other countries, such as Spain, are “substandard” and inaccurate.

March 27, 2020, 8:46 a.m. EST: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus.

March 26, 2020, 5:03 p.m. EST: Catholic dioceses in Quebec are now subjecting priests to “temporary layoffs.” 

The Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe laid off all of its chancery staff on March 23 and recommended parishes do the same – including to their priests.

“Unless there is a real need, I recommend to the parishes of the diocese to temporarily lay off, as of Friday, March 27, all personnel, including priests, so that they can benefit from employment insurance,” advised Bishop Christian Rodembourg

“The dioceses of Rimouski, Gaspe and Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatiere have made similar moves,” reported the Boston Pilot. “However, some dioceses are opting for partial layoffs. For instance, the Archdiocese of Sherbrooke is keeping its communications director.”

March 26, 2020, 4:53 p.m. EST: The Archdiocese of Newark, led by liberal Cardinal Joseph Tobin, has banned all funerals, wakes, Confessions, and baptisms. Confessions and baptisms may take only place in cases of “extreme emergency.” All churches and Adoration chapels are to be locked. Matthew Schmitz of First Things noted that Americans are still able to go to Walmart, but in Tobin’s archdiocese can’t bury their dead, baptize their children, or pray in their churches.

March 26, 2020, 3:43 p.m. EST: A priest who lives in the Santa Marta residence with Pope Francis has tested positive for the coronavirus and is a hospital’s intensive care unit. “Dozens of priests” who also live there are now being tested, Reuters reported. Several other Vatican employees have already tested positive for COVID-19. Vatican offices remain open but with a reduction in staff. The infected employees are quarantined.

March 26, 2020, 2:25 p.m. EST: The police of Derbyshire, England have released drone footage showing people walking their dogs, “going for a walk miles from home,” and driving their cars to park at a scenic spot for a stroll.

“The Government advice is clear,” text on the video scolds. “You should only travel if it is essential.”

The Derbyshire Police Department then posted a lengthy Twitter thread about how it had recorded some license plates of those driving and therefore knew people had been far from their homes. Its officers also had had to “break up a group having a picnic.”

“We understand that people will have differing views about this post, however, we will not be apologetic for using any legal and appropriate methods to keep people safe,” the police wrote.

March 26, 2020, 12:01 p.m. EST: 

March 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump said at a press briefing he hopes the U.S. will have begun to re-open by Easter, April 12.

“It would be a beautiful time, a beautiful timeline,” he said. “It’s a great day.”

Then, in an interview with FOX, the president asked, “Wouldn’t it be great to have all the churches full [on Easter]? You’ll have packed churches all over our country … I think it’ll be a beautiful time.”

“I’m not sure that’s going to be the day,” he noted, but “that would be a beautiful thing.”

Speaking to the press on March 24, Trump said:

I want to thank the American people for the incredible sacrifices that they’re making on behalf of our nation. And I want to encourage everyone to keep following our guidelines on social distancing: avoiding large gatherings and hand washing, and all of the other things that everybody knows they’re supposed to be doing.

Ultimately, the goal is to ease the guidelines and open things up to very large sections of our country as we near the end of our historic battle with the invisible enemy. Been going for a while, but we’ll win. We’ll win.

I said earlier today that I hope we can do this by Easter. I think that would be a great thing for our country, and we’re all working very hard to make that a reality. We’ll be meeting with a lot of people to see if it can be done. Easter is a very special day for many reasons. For me, for a lot of — a lot of our friends, that’s a very special day. And what a great timeline this would be. Easter, as our timeline — what a great timeline that would be.

My first priority is always the health and safety of the American people, and we want everyone to understand that we are continuing to evaluate the data. We’re working with the task force and making decisions based on what is best for the interests of our fantastic country.

In order to defeat the virus, we must continue to be very strong. Your resilience and spirit has been inspiring to everyone. Right now, this virus is attacking 149 countries, but everybody looks to us and they’re watching us.

And I’m very proud to be your President — I can tell you that. There’s tremendous hope as we look forward and we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Stay focused and stay strong. And my administration and myself will deliver for you as we have in the past.

The Washington Post reports that hospitals are having internal debates about whether to issue “do not resuscitate” orders for all coronavirus patients, regardless of their wishes or their families’ wishes:

“Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has been discussing a do-not-resuscitate policy for infected patients, regardless of the wishes of the patient or their family members — a wrenching decision to prioritize the lives of the many over the one.

Richard Wunderink, one of Northwestern’s intensive-care medical directors, said hospital administrators would have to ask Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for help in clarifying state law and whether it permits the policy shift.

Officials at George Washington University Hospital in the District [of Columbia] say they have had similar conversations, but for now will continue to resuscitate covid-19 patients using modified procedures, such as putting plastic sheeting over the patient to create a barrier. The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, one of the country’s major hot spots for infections, is dealing with the problem by severely limiting the number of responders to a contagious patient in cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Several large hospital systems — Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Geisinger in Pennsylvania and regional Kaiser Permanente networks — are looking at guidelines that would allow doctors to override the wishes of the coronavirus patient or family members on a case-by-case basis due to the risk to doctors and nurses, or a shortage of protective equipment, say ethicists and doctors involved in those conversations. But they would stop short of imposing a do-not-resuscitate order on every coronavirus patient. The companies declined to comment.

And, “as the outbreak has worsened, hospitals with COVID-19 patients have continued to tighten restrictions, including on chaplains,” Christianity Today reports. “In England, [the] National Health Service went as far as saying patients dying from the virus should be encouraged to offer their farewells via video calls like Skype.”

Two hospitals in Michigan are refusing to let Catholic priests inside to administer Last Rites. A longer LifeSiteNews story on this is forthcoming.

Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown “urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises,” caused by the coronavirus (emphasis added). 

As state governments order “non-essential” and “elective” medical procedures halted to brace for coronavirus-infected patients, abortionists are insisting what they do is essential and demanding their facilities be allowed to remain open.

Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas have all declared abortion to be non-essential. The extent to which the orders will be enforced is unclear. Operation Rescue reports cases of abortion facilities remaining open in Michigan, Florida, and Ohio. The pro-life group Created Equal captured footage of a Columbus, Ohio abortion facility conducting business as usual, and pro-lifers in Mississippi filed a complaint with the health department over the state’s abortion facility remaining open on Tuesday.

Abortion activists are suing Texas over its order they stop operating

Transgender surgeries are also being postponed.