Liberty Students, Lynchburg Mayor call out Jerry Falwell for pandemic response


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — While other area colleges have moved fully to online learning, nearly 2,000 Liberty University students are back on campus this week.

The school said yesterday it’s taken precautions, like setting up tents for students to retrieve meals.

We spoke with one student who believes these measures are in place for liability reasons only and says the administration is not conveying to students how serious the COVID-19 pandemic really is.

“Our leadership is not doing everything they could do to discourage people from engaging in unsafe conduct,” said senior Calum Best. “Two weeks ago on Fox Business, Jerry [Falwell, Jr.] said that this would blow over soon and it was a political stunt. On the Todd Starnes Show, he said it was a political stunt.”

Best continued, “When leaders that are set up as examples to trust are that misleading and careless in their communication, that’s the kind of thing that doesn’t discourage students from making bad choices.”

Best said he’s been seeing people gathering in areas restricted for social distancing reasons this week and hugging, holding parties and game nights in crowded groups, and generally not following social distancing recommendations.

Yesterday, Liberty posted an article indicating it is taking precautions and has discussed them with the Virginia Secretary of Education’s office.

Lynchburg’s Mayor Treney Tweedy put out a statement on Tuesday saying in part, “I believe it was a reckless decision to bring students back on campus at this time. It is unfortunate that President Falwell chose not to keep his word to us and to this community.”

When asked to comment, Liberty spokesperson Scott Lamb referred WFXR to the aforementioned article.

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