School trustee Darrel Furgason explains comments on COVID-19 and belief that God may use the pandemic to ‘bring communism down’
A school trustee in British Columbia who is responsible for making decisions that impact the health and safety of thousands of students says he’s skeptical about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Darrell Furgason, a trustee in Chilliwack, recently made headlines after defending one of his colleagues’ use of an ableist slur against local journalists. Fellow school trustee Barry Neufeld had used a derogatory term for a developmental disability in reference to local newspaper the Chilliwack Progress.
The r-word is NOT up for debate. #Chilliwack school trustee Darrell Furgason defending Barry Neufeld is vile. The r-word is a form of hate speech. Full stop.
It’s time for an overhaul in Chilliwack, these ableist trustees are dangerous + shouldn’t be near education. #bced pic.twitter.com/eXliyJDma4
— Tamara Taggart (@tamarataggart) November 22, 2020
Furgason, like Neufeld, holds staunchly social conservative views and has a record promoting Islamophobic , homophobic and transphobic views. The trustee is also a Biblical Creationist, referring to the belief that God created the earth in literally seven days only a few thousand years ago.
But when it comes to COVID-19, Furgason says he remains skeptical about what he’s been hearing about the deadly pandemic in the news and from the government.
In an interview this week, the Chilliwack school trustee said he acknowledges that COVID-19 is real, but believes some are “pushing fear” with “exaggerated numbers.”
“They’re generating fear and paranoia, and it’s on every news station, and people are getting super depressed,” Furgason told PressProgress.
“Numbers may or may not be accurate in many cases.”
Furgason was explaining his thinking in connection to a Facebook meme he posted earlier this summer which misleadingly claimed the Woodstock music festival was held in spite of the 1969 Hong Kong Flu pandemic (the first wave of that pandemic had ended by March 1969, several months before Woodstock).
Furgason wrote: “Let’s get back to reality. The fear of COVID-19 was greatly exaggerated by the government and media.”
Asked if he believed case numbers were being fabricated, the trustee explained that while he does not question the number of reported cases in Canada, but that “we have to be careful about whether people are dying from COVID, or with it.”
“The numbers reflect a certain population of people, and that is largely in the elderly,” he continued. “You’re quarantining the healthy and we need to focus much more attentively on the sick and where the sick are in the population.”
“People die from the flu, thousands every year,” Fegason added. “If you just want to talk about numbers and throw it out there as though its everywhere in every population, I think you’re engendering fear — and that’s what’s happening in our schools.”
“All I’m saying is the numbers must be broken down into age groups so people can see where the illness mainly strikes, and not engender fear into little kids going to school, it can be anywhere in every room at any time, its an exaggeration, I think.”
The Chilliwack school district has seen COVID-19 outbreaks in 10 public schools in recent weeks.
However, the school trustee also sees glimmers of hope amid the global pandemic.
In late March, Furgason shared a Washington Post op-ed titled ‘It’s time to practice social and economic distancing from China’ — Furgason commented that “this might be God’s timing to bring the Communist Party down.”
Furgason explained to PressProgress that while he does not believe God planned the deadly pandemic, he believes God may have chosen this moment to intervene in the natural unfolding of human history to bring communism to an end.
“God may work in history at the confluence of these events to diminish the evil extent of the communist regime,” Furgason said. “That’s perfectly a prayer of mine.”
“God may, in the midst of this exposure of falsehood or exposure of an evil regime, motivate nations to bring communism down,” he added.
“The pandemic is not God, what it is is an opportunity for God to act by motivating people to dislodge this regime.”