Trump announces that houses of worship are essential calls on governors to open them up
President Trump on Friday announced that new Centers for Disease Control guidance will classify houses of worship as "essential," as he called on governors to allow them to open "right now" after being closed during the coronavirus lockdowns.
Trump announced the policy for churches, synagogues and mosques, during a short briefing at the White House.
"The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now--for this weekend," Trump said. "If they don't do it, I will override the governors."
"In America, we need more prayer not less," Trump added.
It's unclear under what authority Trump has to override governors. But Trump took issue with certain businesses being open in certain states, while churches are not.
"Some governors have deemed the liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential," Trump said. "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."
POSTED TODAY AT THE CDC WEBSITE:
CDC offers the following general considerations to help communities of faith discern how best to practice their beliefs while keeping their staff and congregations safe. Millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life.
For many faith traditions, gathering together for worship is at the heart of what it means to be a community of faith. But as Americans are now aware, gatherings present a risk for increasing the spread of COVID-19 during this public health emergency. CDC offers these suggestions for faith communities to consider, consistent with their own faith traditions, in the course of preparing to reconvene for in-person gatherings while still working to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, and acceptable, and tailored to the needs and traditions of each community of faith.
The information offered is non-binding public health guidance for consideration only; it is not meant to regulate or prescribe standards for interactions of faith communities in houses of worship. Any decision to modify specific religious rites, rituals, and services should be made by religious leaders.