Critics bash Virginia governor’s order to close all on-campus instructions after religious college reopens amid virus outbreak

(USA Features) Critics are panning Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam after he ordered all college campuses closed during the coronavirus outbreak, a move they say is likely directed at conservative theological institution Liberty University.

The college, located in Lynchburg, is run by Jerry Falwell Jr., the son of the founder. It is one of the world’s largest Christian schools.

The institution has been criticized for its decision to welcome students back on campus last week after their spring break.

And though the majority of coursework has been moved online, university officials said in-person instruction was important and necessary for a few select classes.

“We are currently reviewing what the governor said but aren’t able to make a comment at this moment,” said Liberty spokesman Scott Lamb.

Lamb said he could not say immediately whether any in-person instruction was continuing Monday. However, the university’s website specifically notes that flight training for aeronautics courses would “remain in the traditional face to face format.”

Falwell, one of President Donald Trump’s earliest and most ardent high-profile supporters, has generally characterized concerns about the virus as overblown.

Also, he has accused the news media of stoking fear and suggesting coverage has been politically motivated to hurt the president.

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