Donald Trump calls on churches to reopen this weekend

Trump on Friday urged US state governors to allow places of worship to reopen immediately, as the country moves gradually towards a lifting of COVID-19 lockdown measures. "Today I am identifying -- , and -- as essential places that provide essential services," Trump told a news conference at the White House.

President Donald Trump on Friday said he has deemed churches and other houses of worship "essential" and called on governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the threat of the coronavirus.

"Today I'm identifying houses of worship churches, synagogues and mosques — as essential places that provide essential services," Trump said during a hastily arranged press conference Friday. He said if governors don't abide by his request, he will "override" them, though it's unclear what authority he has to do so.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had prepared reopening guidelines for and other weeks ago, but the White House had refused to release them until Thursday when Trump abruptly changed course.

"I said 'You better put it out.' And they're doing it," Trump said Thursday at a Ford Motor Co. plant repurposed to make ventilators in Michigan. "And they're going to be issuing something today or tomorrow on churches. We got to get our churches open."




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