On Friday, in yet another irrational move, Donald Trump announced that churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship are considered “essential” in accordance with newly released CDC guidance, calling on governors to reopen them “right now” during a short White House briefing.
“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.”
While it is unclear if Trump has the authority to override governors, the peculiar commander-in-chief was not pleased that many businesses were permitted to reopen in certain states, while churches continue to be closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. His order also follows an outcry from 1,600 faith leaders around the country with whom he held a conference call with on Thursday. He expressed that he also wanted churches open as soon as possible.
“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.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did unveil interim guidelines on Friday for faith communities, they also continued to warn against large gatherings that “present a risk for increasing the spread of COVID-19.” The guidelines encourage decreased gathering size, the use of cloth face coverings during worship services, social distancing during services and suspending or decreasing choirs, and singing in places of worship, stating that “singing may contribute to the transmission of COVID-19, possibly through emission of aerosols.”
“In America, we need more prayer, not less,” Trump went on to add.