Watchtower Response to Covid-19
The Governing Body provided no advance notice of the outbreak of Covid-19, nor special guidance on how to avoid it. Their advice has simply been to follow local laws, therefore affording no protection beyond that experienced by people around them. The result is that Jehovah's Witnesses are dying at rates equal to, or higher than, the general population. This is further proof the Watchtower Governing Body are not directed by Jehovah.
An official Watchtower announcement 30th April 2020 noted 872 Jehovah's Witnesses had died from Covid-19 International-Brotherhood-Comforts-Those-Impacted-by-Deadly-Pandemic.
This early figure showed Jehovah's Witnesses had recorded a death rate higher than the global average, making the glaringly obvious point that God does not afford Jehovah's Witnesses special protection.
In November 2020, the Announcement S-147-20.11-E_Us advised that 130,000 Jehovah's Witnesses had been infected with Covid-19 and over 5,000 had died.
Once again, contraction and mortality rates amongst Jehovah's Witnesses continued to be higher than global averages. Using 2019 publisher figures, 1.5% of Jehovah's Witnesses had contracted the virus, of which 3.8% died. World population figures at the time were a contraction rate of 0.6% and 2.5% death rate.
Watchtower's letters of guidance point followers to government websites, such as cdc.com, and do not contain any advice more timely or insightful than that of the medical community.
The following screenshot is from the government site Jehovah's Witnesses are directed to.
The spread of viruses may be slowed by vaccines. Vaccinations are allowed by Watchtower, provided a particular vaccine complies with Watchtower blood policy. It is concerning that the Governing Body, despite proving to have no direction on medical matters, dictate the medical treatment Jehovah's Witnesses can receive if blood is involved. Fortunately Covid-19 vaccinations do not contain blood.
Another promising treatment for Covid-19 is based on the plasma of Covid-19 survivors that have developed immunity. Watchtower doctrine is convoluted on the matter, illogically banning transfusions of plasma, but allowing transfusions of plasma fractions as a matter of conscience. Jehovah's Witnesses are theoretically allowed Covid-19 plasma infusions that may save their lives, but generally unaware this is the case.
How To Remain In God's Love (2017) p.247
Do not put your life at risk due to unwarranted faith in the Governing Body. Conduct your own research on the best ways to prevent infection and treatments available in your community, unencumbered by sectarian dogma.
For more information on this topic see ajwrb.org (11 May 2020). For a detailed discussion on how Watchtower teachings on blood have changed dramatically over the decades, and why current teachings make no sense, see Jehovah's Witnesses and Blood Transfusions.
Written May 2020. Latest update Dec 2020.
Paul Grundy 2005 - 2021