David Green, CEO of US craft shop Hobby Lobby, has kept many stores open, saying God will help them through coronavirus. The boss wrote to all employees, encouraging them to pray and saying he believes God will look after the company and that he appreciates all of his staff. The letter does not mention keeping stores open nor sick pay but says that his wife Barbara Green felt God remind her that God was in control and that he will "Guide, Guard and Groom" us "to be better than we could ever thought possible before now."  The letter had come under fire though for appearing supportive of colleagues at a time when several of its stores remain open in the US despite the threat of Covid-19 and many staff are not given sick pay. In a separate letter to store managers about the company's Covid-19 leave policy, Hobby Lobby says workers have to exhaust all other forms of leave before they are entitled to emergency pay - suggesting they have to take their own holiday days and former allowance of paid sick days. 

 

JTA — Rick Wiles, the Florida pastor who claimed that the effort to impeach US President Trump was a “Jew coup,” has said the spread of coronavirus in synagogues is a punishment of the Jewish people for opposing Jesus. Wiles made the claim Wednesday on his TruNews broadcast. “The people who are going in to the synagogue are coming out of the synagogue with the virus,” Wiles said. “It’s spreading in Israel through the synagogues. God is spreading it in your synagogues! You are under judgment because you oppose his son, Jesus Christ. That is why you have a plague in your synagogues. Repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and the plague will stop.” Wiles also claimed that the US outbreak started at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, D.C., in early March. In fact, the first case and the first outbreak were both reported in Washington state.

 

An Israeli doctor in northern Italy says the country is close to “flattening the curve” with some new treatments appearing to be helping some COVID-19 patients, offering a rare glimmer of hope in the hard-hit epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic. Carmi Sheffer, a doctor at the University Hospital of Padua, told The Times of Israel’s Hebrew-language sister site, Zman Yisrael, that as recently as last week he had been pessimistic. “We were in the height of the outbreak, emergency rooms filled up, and the condition of patients on respirators with danger to their lives simply didn’t improve. I felt despair,” said Sheffer. “But in the past few days, people have begun to recover, in part due to new medications and also as a result of the fact that it takes some two weeks to recover from the virus,” he added. The city of Padua has fared better than other nearby cities, with 1,552 confirmed COVID-19 patients, of whom 136 of them were hospitalized and 13 have died. Sheffer said the region of Veneto had more time to prepare for the outbreak than the neighboring hard-hit Lombardy.