Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards admitted his plea is a “little bit unusual” during a press conference last week, but he said it is “very important, anyway,” the Catholic News Agency reports.
“I’m going to call for three days of fasting and prayer for our state, for July 20 through the 22nd,” Edwards said.
The governor said he received a request during a call with religious leaders from across the state.
“So if you’re inclined, please join me and the first lady and faith leaders of Louisiana, regardless of your denomination or your religion, and we would ask that you join us in prayerful reflection and fasting,” he said.
Edwards plans to fast from lunch Monday through Wednesday while “praying for the people of Louisiana,” especially the sick, caretakers and the families of those who have died from COVID-19.
His call for prayer comes after a statewide mask mandate that went into effect last week. Jeff Landry, the state’s attorney general, does not oppose wearing masks but says the mandate is unconstitutional.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported 3,187 more coronavirus cases, 29 more deaths and 39 more hospitalizations in its daily noon update Monday, noting a backlog in testing. The state now reports a total of 84,892 confirmed cases and at least 3,462 deaths.