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Healing & Wellbeing presents ‘Protect America,’ an Event to Promote the Physical Wellbeing of our Nation

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LOS ANGELES, Calif., September 2, 2021 In the wake of an upsurge in COVID-19 fatalities across the United States, will host Protect America — a faith-based conversation to promote life-saving vaccines with Pastor Donnie McClurkin and Director of National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins. The national online and radio event broadcast will be available starting Thursday, September 2 at 12 p.m. PDT / 3 p.m. EDT on

The discussion between Dr. Collins and Pastor McClurkin will focus on ways Americans can protect their health, provide facts about COVID-19, and deliver a faith-based perspective on vaccine uptake.

The goal of the event is to increase awareness of the recent FDA approval and increase understanding of the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially in communities that have shown a higher rate of vaccine hesitancy.

“As we continue the fight to end this pandemic I am encouraged to see efforts like the ‘Protect America’ event come together and I applaud and faith leaders for sharing their platforms to encourage vaccination,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States. “Vaccines are the best tool we have to protect our loved ones from COVID-19 and save lives.”

Pastor McClurkin will deliver a vital message about the life-saving measures available to protect oneself, one’s loved ones, and one’s community from COVID-19. 

“We praise God for this opportunity to be able to share vital information that people need in this very precarious time,”Pastor McClurkin said  “I want to help our churches see that science is a wonderful gift given to us by God, and it’s not that we are trusting government, but that we are trusting something that God has given us.” Co-founder Mike Lynn shared his appreciation for the participants to be able to come together for this discussion and for to be able to host it.

“ is here to create a world where everyone leaves a legacy of helping others,” he said. “We’re committed to providing a platform for faith-based discussions around topics such as this that can help protect and improve people’s lives.” is the world’s No. 1 app for daily prayer and Bible-based audio content, reaching more than 10 million people worldwide through its mobile app and website. presents Protect America

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About the speakers

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About was launched in 2017 with a mission to grow faith and cultivate community. is the No. 1 app for daily prayer and faith-based audio content and is the easiest way to incorporate prayer into your daily life. provides encouragement and inspiration through Daily Prayers, Pastor Podcasts and Bedtime Bible Stories.

About Dr. Francis Collins

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., was appointed the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is the only Presidentially appointed NIH Director to serve more than one administration. In this role, Dr. Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world. Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project. Dr. Collins is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009. In 2020, he was elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (UK) and was also named the 50th winner of the Templeton Prize, which celebrates scientific and spiritual curiosity.

About Pastor Donnie McClurkin

Donnie McClurkin is an American Gospel singer and minister. He has won three Grammy Awards, ten Stellar Awards, two BET Awards, two Soul Train Awards, one Dove Award and one NAACP Image Award. He is one of the top selling Gospel artists, selling over 10 million albums worldwide.

Event transcript

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Pastor Donnie McClurkin: God bless everyone. This is Pastor Donnie

McClurkin and it is my privilege and pleasure to be able to come on this

wonderful wonderful meeting. This America Zoom Fireside Chat with Dr.

Francis Collins. And I welcome everyone of you to this informative

meeting. It is surely going to give you insight that you need as we

continue on. This is founded and hosted really by And we praise

God for the opportunity to be able to share with you information. That's

vital information that you will need in this very very precarious time.

So I'm going to open up with a moment of prayer and I want you all to

joining with me at this moment. So father we praise you. We give you

glory because you are God. There's no other God beside you. You are the

only wise God our savior to whom we bow on me and we give our lives. I

pray that you'd give us wisdom and insight during this chaotic time. I

pray that you would give us the help and the hope that we need as we

confer today as we sit down and confer I pray that your wisdom would

exude and and we are taker of this knowledge that can keep us and sustain

our lives. Thank you for Thank you for Dr. Collins and I asked

Lord God that the listeners would be inspired by this. You are wonderful

and we love you and to you alone we give all glory with that we ask this

in your holy name. Amen. Yeah.

Dr. Francis Collins: Amen. Okay. Wow. Well pastor, thank you so much for

joining with me for this conversation and for all the things you've been

doing to try to spread valuable and accurate information to people who

are struggling with what to do with COVID-19 I guess we all hope that by

now we'd be all done with this, but we certainly are not. Here we are in

the 4th surge With 150,000 people getting in the hospital every day and

we've once again seen the death rates start to go up again. More than

1000 people losing their lives. And almost all of those are unvaccinated

people and those lives could have been saved if we'd somehow convinced

people to receive this gift from God, which is how I see it. I'm a

believer like you, I'm a follower of Jesus, somebody who prayed earnestly

that we would find some solution for this terrible pandemic when it first

appeared in the world a year and a half ago and those prayers have been

answered by the way, science has been able to come up with solutions,

particularly the vaccines and yet somehow pastor, a lot of people are

still unsure about that and are waiting for something to see whether

there is a way for them to decide to sign up And I'm hoping this little

conversation that you and I are going to have might encourage some of

those people who have been on the fence to recognize that this is a

golden opportunity to take advantage of a real blessing in which in this

case comes in the form of a vaccine.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: Well, there's a lot of controversy that goes

behind this and I think this information will bring some resolve to a lot

of questions that people have and and can I start off by asking questions


Dr. Francis Collins: Please do. And I'm glad to do the best I can to

answer them and pastor you and other members of the clergy or in a really

important place right now to get that information and share that with

your churches because you know, look at me, I'm a federal employee. I'm

some white guy from the Washington D. C. Do I have credibility with the

people in your church? I don't know, but you do. So let me help you if

there are things that I can provide as far as evidence and facts.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: Well, well, what's going on with this, the full

FDA approval with this vaccine? What's going on? There's a lot of

different statements being hurled around what is going on with this FDA


Dr. Francis Collins: So FDA has now granted full and complete approval to

the Pfizer vaccine. That was just a couple weeks ago. FDA is the gold

standard in the world for that kind of rigorous assessment about safety

and efficacy. So if they've said full approval, they mean it. And that

means that all other considerations that you'd want to have looked at as

far as does it work. And is it safe have been judged and it is a slam

dunk that this is a vaccine that has met that standard. The Moderna

vaccine and the J and J vaccine are also being evaluated right now by

FDA. There is every expectation they will also get full approval in the

fairly near future.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: There's been so many different uh posts put out

that it's not approved, that it's only for emergencies. They've extended

the emergency usage of it. I'm a little confused and I don't really know

how to break this down to our congregation.

Dr. Francis Collins: Mm Well, it was of course initially emergency use

authorization back in December of last year because we wanted to get

these vaccines to people as quickly as possible to try to deal with the

terrible hospitalizations and deaths that were happening. But everybody

recognized that was based upon already a very rigorous data set. All of

those emergency use is dependent upon trials of at least 30,000 people.

But some people were still a little on the fence about. Have we waited

long enough to see if there might any might be long term effects. Well,

some of those people in those trials have now been out there for more

than a year and they're doing fine. There have been no surprise late

effects and I don't think they're going to be. So this full approval,

What's called a BLA by the FDA ought to be seen as a marker that if

you're hesitant because of uneasiness about that emergency use, you need

not be hesitant any further. This has gotten the good housekeeping seal

of approval from the FDA. The gold standard saying this is something you

can trust. So if people are holding back on that basis, I hope they'll

look at this and say, ok, it's done.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: All right. So, but what what does that really

mean? What does it matter? And what what are the implications behind?

Dr. Francis Collins: I think it is the case then because FDA has approved

this. This now becomes a standard medical intervention like a pill that

you might be taking for your diabetes or your blood pressure. That's gone

through that same rigorous evaluation and you get from the drugstore.

This vaccine now has that same sense of confidence attached to it, that

it works and it's safe.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: Yeah. Um, and I'm probably going to get in

trouble for these questions. But there are so many people that are saying

that there's a difference between BioNTech and Pfizer and that Pfizer

hasn't really gotten the approval but BioNTech does. I know I'm being

redundant but is there a difference.

Dr. Francis Collins: No, they basically Pfizer and BioNTech. We're

partners in developing this vaccine, BioNTech happens to be European

organization in Germany fighters. An American one they got together to

make sure they had the science that they needed to make it work. So this

vaccine is basically the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is just one

organization. One vaccine.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: Thank you so much because that's been the

prevailing question. But now for the people in my community, for those,

um, what is the most common misperception that's going on about this


Dr. Francis Collins: Well, I wish I could say there's just one that's

most common. There's a list. One that I've certainly heard a lot is that

this vaccine may actually create infertility and that of course would be

a big deal if getting vaccinated for either men or women. What's going to

have some impact on their future ability to have Children. Pastor there

is a zero, I mean zero evidence to support that. And there's a lot of

evidence against that. And so people are hearing that. I hope they will

look at the actual information and there's a site that can go and look at

called that will sort of lay out what we know and

it will make it pretty clear. That is not one that despite its prominence

in social media, which is very good at spreading misinformation, there's

nothing there to back that up.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: What is that website again?

Dr. Francis Collins: So get vaccines answers all

one word, no spaces or anything .org. It's one of several sites that I

think has been very well designed and it's not put forward by people have

an axe to grind. They're just trying to get the information out there.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: I posted on, on, on the internet and facebook.

My second vaccination from Pfizer and it drew much, much fire. It drew

very, very many, uh, on the, uh, it caused a lot of the people with

misinformation to come on in droves. I just, I'm amazed at the level of

misinformation that's out there and while deeming this as credible based

on no facts at all. I'll say this. Um, God gave us the wonderful Science.

Science is God given. It is not something that was contrived as an anti

or something against God. It was wisdom given by God. And they said, you

know, you're trusting in in the government and not trusting in God. But

the truth of the matter is this is something that God has given for us to

be able to deal with our maladies on our own body by his grace and the

wisdom that he's given. And I'm trying to cause our churches to see this

as a God given gift called Science. What what message can I give our

churches give That will give a more of a, they will give the people more


Dr. Francis Collins: Oh Pastor. You said it very well just now and I want

to associate myself entirely with what you said as a believer. But

somebody who spent my professional life as a scientist. I think science

is a gift from God. Science is a way of exploring the creation that we've

been given and sometimes using that information to prevent diseases or

heal people who have illnesses and that is a blessing. That's an answer

to prayer. Science I think is a form of worship. It is a way in which by

studying nature, which is God's gift to us. We can even more be in awe of

the gifts that we've been given. I think I heard you in a recent piece

where you were reflected on the story of the guy who was drowning and

three different boats came by and offered to save him and he said no

God's going to take care of me and then he drowned anyway and he goes up

to heaven and God says when he says to God, hey, why didn't you save me?

I was counting on you. God points out that he tried really hard. So

prayers can be answered by people. Prayers can be answered by scientists

who are people and produce things like vaccines that can save lives. I

see that is completely compatible with having my trust in God And also

believing that science is the way sometimes that my prayers can be

answered. And I hope people in your church see that. But it sounds like

you've been hearing a lot of pushback

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: Much I've been hearing. So I'm not hearing, I've

been assaulted on so many levels behind the uh, the video of my

vaccination and um, they've considered it a betrayal of the cross. It

considered it becoming a part of the anti Christ and there and let yeah.

And that this is the Mark of the Beast.

Dr. Francis Collins: Oh, I've heard that too. But you know, I went read

Revelation 17 again just to be sure that I had a better sense of what

that vision of John was all about. It does not sound like this vaccine in

any sense of the word. So people who are throwing that away. Come on. You

know, pastor. I think also those people who are spreading information

about the vaccines that are demonstrably not true. Really need to stop

and think a minute we've lost, you know, 630,000 people have died.

Probably at least 100,000 of them didn't need to if they've been able to

take vaccines when they were offered. Many of those are people in the

church. If somebody's out there continuing to spread that false news,

they're contributing to people losing their lives and this is really

serious isn't just sort of an idol academic conversation. So I'm glad

you're willing to be out there. By the way. Something that helps people

also As when they hear that 96% of physicians are vaccinated, including

black doctors. So that tells you something, doesn't it? If this was not a

good thing for all of us with the doctors decide to take advantage of it

in such overwhelming numbers. They got access to a lot of information and

they're clearly making a decision accordingly.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: But we've had, we've used our church as

vaccination center,

Dr. Francis Collins: Good for you.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: Last of five weeks and then we have an outdoor

service every Sunday out in the open market marketplace and we brought

the vaccination center down there as well. And I believe that everyone

has the responsibility of making the right choice according to their

convictions. But for those that really would pay attention to what's

taking place and the and the drastic devastation of this virus and the

ability to freely have access to a vaccine. I want to make it available

to them. And I pray that the churches around this community would do the

same because our job is saving lives.

Dr. Francis Collins: Yes

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: I would say not just souls, but lives and we've

got to care for the people in the community. I just thank you for taking

this time for allowing us to dispel some of the misinformation and to

give some correct information that can help people live. I'm going to

continue to do this. And uh, they were telling me that I had

nanotechnology in me now and not only that I was a kid, um, I want to

move abroad cosmic power and I'm used to, you know, but all joking aside,

this is very serious moment, This very serious situation. And if the

faith based communities can lend themselves to the accuracy of the

message, tear down all of the myth, mythological, uh, misinformation

that's going on.

Dr. Francis Collins: Yeah, there's there's one more message. I think also

that faith communities resonate with if they start to think about it and

that is that the choice to be vaccinated is not just about yourself. It's

also about other people around you. I particularly worry pastor about

people with cancer who are on various drugs that suppress their immune

system. The vaccine doesn't work for them. They can get the shots, but it

won't actually generate a result because their immune systems kind of

been put down by the treatment or somebody with a kidney transplant or a

liver transplant, a heart transplant. You probably have people like that

in your church. They can't get a good immune response either because the

drugs they have to take to prevent rejection mean that the vaccine

doesn't work. So it's up to all of us to recognize they're vulnerable,

not to mention all the kids under 12 who can't get vaccinated yet either.

So this is a moment to love your neighbor. It's not just about yourself.

Even if you're not really sure you need this. Although I think you should

be think about how this is affecting your family, your friends, people

around you who maybe you don't have the choice to get immunized. You can

help them to Christians have always rallied to that kind of argument. I

hope they'll rally again right now.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: And I think through through modes of information

like this. I believe this will have a lot of people with some of the

decision making because they've gotten answers two questions and that's

important. Information is key and I thank you so much for availing

yourself to do this and to make it something comprehensive to everyone

that used

Dr. Francis Collins: Really glad to do so pastor, thank you very much for

being out there talking about this. I know a lot of people in the church

are a little uneasy about even bringing it up. But this is a life or

death situation. We've got to face it. We've got to face it square on

figure out the right thing is to do is and then make everybody here that

information you're doing that. Thank you so much.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin: I appreciate that too. And to every one of you

that are watching, I pray that you heard something that will give you a

greater understanding that in this time of pandemic there is cure, there

is help, there is a vaccine and it's up to you to come to the realization

of how important it is for you and your family and your community and

people at large. So I'm glad to be able to bring this to you. God bless


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