President Donald Trump warned governors Friday that if they don't reopen the nation's houses of worship "right now," he will "override" them.
Trump demanded the reopening in brief remarks announceing that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at his direction, will issue new guidelines to smooth the process.
"Today I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques, as essential places that provide essential services, Trump said at his appearance, during which he took no questions. "Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It's not right."
He called on governors to "do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they don't do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less."
Trump said with his action, he is "correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential, adding that he wanted to thank CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield and the CDC for their work on this matter, but if there's any question about reopening churches, "they're going to have to call me, but they are not going to be successful in that call."
"These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united," Trump said. "The people are demanding to go to church, and synagogue, or to their mosque. Many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life."
The nation's "ministers, pastors, rabbis, imams, and other faith leaders will make sure that their congregations are safe as they gather and pray," said Trump. "I know them well. They love their congregations. They love their people. They don't want anything bad to happen to them or to anybody else."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this week issued a 60-page document that details how the United States should go about reopening schools, businesses, and public transportation after months of coronavirus-related closures.
However, information about how churches and other houses of worship should reopen was not included. According to Politico, the Trump administration did not want anything on the subject included because it could be construed as religious discrimination.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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