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The Daily Beast

Megachurch Pastor Contracts COVID-19 After Suing to Force School Reopenings

At San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church on Sunday morning, hundreds of maskless congregants sang and prayed, swaying together in the pews, babies and grandparents in close proximity.It might have been easy to forget there was a deadly pandemic blazing through the country.That is, until about 25 minutes into the sermon, when pastor Matt Hagee, on a stage bathed in blue light, announced that his father, the 80-year-old senior pastor and the church’s founder, John Hagee, had been diagnosed two days earlier with COVID-19. Hagee said during the Oct. 4 livestreamed service that his father “has been diligent throughout this entire COVID pandemic to monitor his health.”“It was one, discovered very early, and two, his medical team has him under watchful care, and three, he’s feeling well enough to be frustrated by anyone in a white coat with a stethoscope,” said Hagee. “He covets your prayers and asks for you to pray for him daily.”“As it is a reality in our lives, we also have a promise that we serve a God who is a healer,” Hagee added, addressing the massive crowd.Hagee’s diagnosis made waves locally, with many San Antonio residents commenting on social media that they were—at the very least—unsurprised by the news, considering how few masks have been seen at the church. It was not clear on Monday when the senior pastor was last spotted at the church himself, though he has given sermons in recent weeks, including one on Sept. 13 in which he urged congregants to vote with the Bible in mind.But Hagee is perhaps best known outside of Evangelical circles for his long history of outlandish statements, and, more recently, coronavirus shutdown skepticism.The current restrictions for San Antonio’s Bexar County require anyone over the