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PRAYER PLEDGE: VP Pence is right. We need prayer to fight coronavirus, not political antics! Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 5, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The political left has attacked Vice President Mike Pence and the Trump administration for praying before a meeting of the coronavirus task force. A February 26 photo showing members of the task force bowing their heads in prayer went viral only days later.

Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the main contenders in the Democrats’ presidential primaries, used the word “disgusting” in a tweet on the Trump administrations’ response to the coronavirus epidemic.

“Trump’s plan for the coronavirus so far: -Cut winter heating assistance for the poor -Have VP Pence, who wanted to ‘pray away’ HIV epidemic, oversee the response -Let ex-pharma lobbyist Alex Azar refuse to guarantee affordable vaccines to all,” Sanders wrote. “Disgusting,” he added.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, who writes for Harper’s Magazine and The New York Times Magazine, tweeted, “Mike Pence and his coronavirus emergency team praying for a solution. We are so screwed.”

In response, LifeSiteNews has launched a prayer pledge, emphasizing the need “to ask help from God first, and then get to work.”

The petition, which at the time of this writing has been signed roughly 9,000 times, “asks our politicians to unite, to protect Americans as much as humanly possible — and then, leave the rest to God.”

On Twitter, Vice President Mike Pence received support from famous preacher Franklin Graham.

“A touching & powerful photo of @VP @Mike_Pence & the President’s Coronavirus Taskforce praying when they met last week in his office. Thank you VP Pence and each one who is serving,” Graham said.

“Let’s join them in asking God for His wisdom, direction, & help in the response to this virus.”

For Jonathon van Maren, the left’s reaction to Pence and others praying before discussing measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak shows “just how post-Christian our culture has really become.”

On his LifeSiteNews blog, van Maren pointed out that the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 was met with “special days of prayer,” where churches called upon the faithful “to beg God for assistance in the face of a spreading disease that was felling millions.”

“It was understood, if not accepted, that God was in control of all things, and thus that begging Him for a reprieve was essential,” the pro-life activist added.

Meanwhile, Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at New York University and medical correspondent for Fox News, praised the Trump administration for its handling of the coronavirus.

“I’ve been handling these emerging contagions for about 20 years now, and I have to tell you, I’ve never seen one handled better,” Siegel told Breitbart News Sunday, according to The Western Journal.

“The task force are really top players,” Siegel continued. He explained that the actions of the task force are appropriate to the current situation, including “restricting travel, isolating patients who are sick, and trying to cut down on contact. It’s a very hard thing to do when people are pouring in from all over the world.”

LifeSiteNews’s John-Henry Westen recently talked to China expert Steve Mosher, who is the president of the Population Research Institute.

Mosher reassured listeners to The John-Henry Westen Show that despite the Chinese government’s poor handling of the outbreak, it is well contained in the United States. Also, researchers are developing more advanced methods of testing for the virus daily, and a vaccine is being worked on, Mosher explained.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 cases of people infected by the coronavirus have been reported in the United States. Nine of those cases led to death.