Officials in New Orleans are denouncing an event held in the city last week that appeared to ignore numerous regulations in place related to COVID. The event, marketed as a Christian worship event, was more of a concert featuring Louisiana native Lauren Daigle and Sean Feucht according to authorities.
Hundreds appeared to have been in attendance with limited mask wearing or social distancing observed, based on images posted to social media. The gathering was “not permitted, not allowed, not authorized, not coordinated at all by the city of New Orleans,” according to mayor LaToya Cantrell, who addressed the apparent violations in a press conference Monday, calling the event irresponsible and reckless.
“We must always balance protecting constitutional rights and the freedom of expression with public safety concerns. While this was under the guise of a religious activity or event, we know that it put our people in danger,” she said. “As a result the New Orleans Police Department had to treat it as such, meaning as a protest.”
Feucht is a singer and Christian activist based out of California, who has staged several “Let Us Worship” events throughout the country in protest of restrictions on gatherings put in place by local officials, including limits on attendance at religious events. He characterizes such limits as “unlawful censorship and discrimination” by government, rather than legitimate public safety measures amid a global pandemic.
— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) November 7, 2020
Mayor Cantrell chastised Daigle in particular for participating, given her status as a local of the community. Daigle grew up in Lake Charles, a city west of New Orleans close to the Texas border. Cantrell urged any who attended to get tested for COVID as a precautionary measure.