Carl Lentz, lead pastor of Hillsong Church in New York City, revealed on Instagram Live Monday night that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The 41-year-old megachurch minister warned those who watched his video that the symptoms of the fast-spreading illness, known as COVID-19, are “so real,” saying the sickness took him “out.”
“I started feeling so bad,” he said. “The symptoms are so real.”
Soon after he started experiencing some of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 — difficulty breathing, coughing, high fever, and muscle aches — Lentz called his doctor, who ordered a test. The results were positive.
He described the illness as “like a flu, times 50.”
“I still don’t feel like myself,” the pastor continued. “I look forward to getting my energy back.”
Lentz lives in New York — the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were more than 25,000 confirmed cases in the Empire State. And in New York City alone, there are over 13,000 documented cases.
Dr. Deborah Birx, a physician and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said Tuesday the infection “attack rate” in New York City is five times higher than in the rest of the country.
“I’m praying that we find something that eradicates this thing completely,” said Lentz. “That’s my hope.”