Mask-free pastor holds service after WH superspreader event

SOUTHLAKE, Texas (AP) — A Texas megachurch pastor who attended a White House function that has since been labeled a superspreader event held a church service on Sunday and took to the stage without a mask.

Robert Morris, who is the senior pastor of the Dallas-area Gateway Church, attended the Rose Garden ceremony on Sept. 26 for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Several people who attended the Rose Garden ceremony have contracted the virus, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christi e and former White House aide Kellyanne Conway. It’s not clear that they were infected during that event.

A representative of the Southlake church told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram via email on Tuesday that Morris had taken a COVID-19 test that came back negative in the last 10 days.

“Pastor Robert‘s medical procedures, his medical history and all possible medical issues & precautions are a private matter. If he chooses to release any of his private medical information I will let you know,” the email said.

Pictures from the event show Morris didn’t wear a mask while he was seated directly behind Notre Dame President John Jenkins, who tested positive for the coronavirus less than a week after the event. Jenkins also did not wear a mask.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who come in close contact with somebody who has COVID-19 should quarantine for two weeks.

The church’s representative said it was in its fifth weekend of in-person services and was following state COVID-19 guidelines.

Morris spoke for a few minutes and did not address his health on Sunday. The people who attended the service were socially distanced, but few wore masks.

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