President Donald Trump declared on Friday that churches are essential and called upon governors to allow in-person services to resume, according to CNN.
- According to ABC News, Trump urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday “to issue guidance specific to places of worship as soon as possible.”
- Trump suggested that new guidance could arrive as soon as Friday.
“I just got off the phone with CDC and talked about churches. I said I want the churches to open, the people want the churches to open, and I think you'll have something come down very soon, from CDC, we want to get our churches back,” Trump said at a roundtable with African American community leaders on his trip to Michigan.
During a White House press briefing on Friday, Trump declared places of worship essential and said governors must stop preventing them from holding services amid the pandemic.
- Trump said, "Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics essential, but have left our churches and houses of worship. It's not right. So I'm correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.”
- The president suggested he would override governors who refuse to comply, saying: "If there's any question, they're going to have to call me, but they're not going to be successful in that call. The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, this weekend. If they don't do it, I will override the governors.”
- CNN noted that Trump has no authority to override governors and that the federal recommendations are voluntary.