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Tenn. pastor invited to White House round-table event contracts COVID-19

A Tennessee pastor who gained national attention after donating $1,000 to every Jonesborough Department of Public Safety employee is now battling COVID-19, according to a report from WJHL.
(Charles Krupa | AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 1:14 PM EDT
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JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WVLT/WJHL) - A Tennessee pastor who gained national attention after donating $1,000 to every Jonesborough Department of Public Safety employee is now battling COVID-19, according to a report from WJHL.

After the story about Pastor Perry Cleek of Lighthouse Missionary Baptist Church in Jonesborough went viral, he was invited to a round table event at the White House.

Nearly one week after attending the event, Pastor Cleek began to experience symptoms of COVID-19.

“It started with a really severe cough that lasted two or three days but it’s mostly gone,” Cleek told WJHL.

Cleek said he was never close to the president while attending the roundtable event.

“Before we were even allowed in we were tested,” Cleek said. “And at that time I tested negative.”

After experiencing a cough and weakness, Cleek said he decided to get tested at the Carter County Health Department. The results came back positive. Since the test, he said he has also experienced loss of taste and smell but is otherwise doing ok.

Cleek is quarantining at home.

“It is a serious illness…and it is very contagious,” he said.

The pastor decided to cancel in-person Sunday service due to being sick but he plans to preach over the internet until he is better.

“I know that I’m in God’s hands, and he will take care of me no matter what,” he said. “I want people to know they can have the same peace.”

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