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MyPillow CEO tells Americans to pray and read the Bible during appearance at White House coronavirus briefing

The CEO of MyPillow — one of a group of business figures invited to meet with President Trump — took a moment during his appearance at Monday's White House coronavirus press briefing to read something he said he wrote "off the cuff." He said that God had graced the country with President Trump — and that Americans should be reading the Bible during their coronavirus quarantine.

"God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on," Mike Lindell said from the Rose Garden podium. "God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God. I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the Word, read our Bibles and spend time with our families."

Standing next to Mr. Trump, Lindell said the president "gave us so much hope" and praised how the economy was doing before the pandemic. "With our great president, vice president and this administration and all the great people in this country praying daily, we will get through this and get back to a place that's stronger and safer than ever," he said.

The MyPillow CEO appeared with other business leaders to discuss efforts their companies are making to help with America's coronavirus response. Lindell announced that MyPillow would dedicate three-fourths of its manufacturing capability to making cotton face masks for health care workers. He said the company is aiming to produce 10,000 to 50,000 masks a day.

The president regularly touts the work that the private sector is doing to help combat the pandemic. In return, executives he invites to the White House often praise the president and his administration for their leadership.

But even the president appeared unprepared for Lindell's message of prayer and praise.

"I did not know he was going to do that," Mr. Trump said after Lindell left the podium. "But he is a friend of mine, and I do appreciate it."

Lindell is a major Republican donor as well as Mr. Trump's campaign chairman for Minnesota, where MyPillow is based. He appeared at the president's rally in Minneapolis last October, where he said Mr. Trump was "the greatest president" in U.S. history and had the "greatest administration in history."

Mr. Trump, in turn, has apparently been supportive of Lindell's political aspirations. Politico reported that the president has been privately urging Lindell to run for Minnesota governor in 2022. 

Lindell is a familiar face to the public from appearing in TV ads for MyPillow. But over the years, his company has run into controversy. In 2017, the Better Business Bureau changed MyPillow's rating from an A+ to an F and revoked its accreditation over advertising that customers said was misleading about pricing. The company also settled a lawsuit in California over false claims that its pillows could help with certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea. MyPillow paid over $1 million in penalties and admitted no fault.

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