Before Pence visit, 5 members of megachurch choir had tested positive for COVID-19

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Only days ago, Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence attended a rally in a Dallas, Texas, megachurch packed with over 2,000 people. A, let’s say, “highlight” of the event was the megachurch’s mega-choir: over 100 singers who sang unmasked during Pence’s event despite 1) the Centers for Disease Control warnings to wear masks, 2) singing being a now-identified especially dangerous activity for COVID-19 transmission due to the deep breaths required for voice projection, and 3) pandemic cases soaring in Texas during Pence’s visit.

Surprise: There’s a fourth reason the event was a horrific idea. BuzzFeed News reports at least five members of the choir and orchestra at the venue had tested positive for COVID-19 in June. Also testing positive: one of the choir’s music directors.

While none of those who had tested positive attended the event, the odds that five members of the choir tested positive but that everything was completely fine after that, no further transmissions, no worries are … low. It also doesn’t particularly matter from the White House’s standpoint as both Donald Trump and Mike Pence have been at the epicenters of their own persistent disease clusters without, says the most dishonest White House in all of U.S. history, ever testing positive themselves.

Also on the doesn’t-care-so-don’t-bother-him side of the scale: hard-right evangelical grifter Robert Jeffress, the devoted Trump ally and Trump “Faith Initiative” member who gave his church over to Pence for the event despite the risks. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to determine whether additional COVID-19 cases will be associated with Pence’s latest stunt, and whether anyone will die. At some point Republicans are going to start caring, if for no other reason than that too many of their own voters dying off might begin to turn swing states a little less swingy.

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