Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University in central Virginia, claimed Friday the governor is actively discriminating against the college he leads.
The 57-year-old university executive, a stalwart supporter of President Donald Trump, appeared on CBN News to talk about the threat coronavirus-related restrictions around the country pose to religious liberty.
He argued many state governors — including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) — have gone overboard in taking draconian measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Some politicians, Falwell claimed, have taken drastic steps with the intentional goal of damaging the economy for political purposes.
“I think the ones that have gone overboard with the shutdowns have deserved to go bankrupt,” he explained to CBN’s Mark Martin. “I think they deserve to have their credit ratings reduced. And I don’t think there should be a bailout for them.”
Falwell, whose university was one of the last major colleges in the U.S. to implement closures due to the coronavirus, a decision that drew a fair amount of criticism, said he also believes religious discrimination has played a role in the restrictions brought on by the viral pandemic.
In fact, the Virginia native claimed a member of his staff was told by a member of Northam’s staff that the governor was looking for a way to reopen aviation schools in the commonwealth, but only if he could find a way to keep Liberty University for reopening its aviation school.
Falwell, a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, went on to describe the alleged bias as “unbelievable,” arguing there’s “no impartiality anymore in the media and the big tech companies.”
“Our governor was elected by the people in the D.C. suburbs,” he said. “My family has been here since the 1600s, and I’m embarrassed that he’s our governor. He’s the worst excuse for a governor that I have ever seen.”
In a broader sense, Falwell said governors around the country have been picking “winners and losers,” referring to mandates that have forced churches to close their sanctuaries while stores like Walmart and The Home Depot and Planned Parenthood clinics have remained open.
“It makes you wonder about their motives,” he noted.
The Liberty president urged Christians to “understand that they don’t need to give up their rights because somebody is telling them there’s a disaster.”
Faithwire reached out to Northam’s press office, but did not hear back from a representative for the governor by press time. If a member of Northam’s staff issues a statement, this article will be updated to include those comments.