“Shadow Diplomat” and Cabinet Bible Study Leader Blames LGBTQ People for COVID-19 Pandemic

by HRC Staff

Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics

Ralph Drollinger’s horrific assertions are ludicrous. His shameful views cannot be ignored.

Late last night, reports surfaced of Ralph Drollinger blaming LGBTQ people for “God’s consequential wrath” and the COVID-19 pandemic. Drollinger has been called a “shadow diplomat” by the New York Times and leads a weekly Bible study group for President Donald Trump’s cabinet including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Housing & Urban Development  Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Azar and Carson are also on the COVID-19 Task Force. In response, Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign, issued the following statement:

“LGBTQ people around the country and around the world are struggling to cope with this global pandemic. They are worried about their health, their livelihoods, and their families. At a moment where we need to pull together by recognizing our shared humanity and mutual dependence, there are some of low moral character who see it as an opportunity to continue to try to divide us.

“Drollinger’s horrific assertions are ludicrous. Our government’s top leaders depend on him for moral advice and give him regular and direct access. His shameful views cannot be ignored. 

“Our country is in crisis, and rather than placing the blame on marginalized communities that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, our leaders and their advisors must focus in, buckle up and flatten the curve.

“We need leadership that embraces fact and science. A leader whose priority is to improve and save lives. Donald Trump is not that leader.”

HRC recently published a research brief outlining the particular health and economic risks faced by the LGBTQ community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Many in the LGBTQ community are uniquely vulnerable, as they are more likely to work jobs in highly affected industries, often with more exposure and/or higher economic sensitivity to the COVID-19 crisis, are less likely to have health coverage, and are more likely to smoke and have chronic illnesses like asthma. Read the full brief here, and find a full list of all of HRC’s efforts and COVID-19 resources at this link.