Trump Identifying Houses of Worship as Essential

Melanie Arter | May 22, 2020 | 2:04pm EDT
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(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

( - President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he is issuing new guidance for churches through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deem houses of worship as “essential.”

He ordered all churches, synagogues, and mosques to open now, adding that he is overruling the nation’s governors.

“At my direction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing guidance for communities of faith. I want to thank Dr. Redfield and the CDC for their work on this matter, and all the other work they've been doing over the past what now seems like a long period of time,” the president said at a White House press briefing.

“Today I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques, as essential places that provide essential services. Some governors have deemed the liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It's not right. So, I'm correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential,” Trump said.

“I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. If there's any question, they're going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call. These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united. 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,” he said.

“The ministers, pastors, rabbis, imams, and other faith leaders will make sure that their congregations are safe as they gather and pray. 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 president said.

“The governors need 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 concluded.

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