May 22, 2020—“Today, I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues and mosques as essential places that provide essential services,” Trump said in today’s White House press briefing.
“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship, it’s not right,” he continued. “So I am correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow churches and places of worship to open right now.”
The president said he would overrule governors who do not comply, adding:
“If there is any question, they will have to call me, but they are 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, for this weekend. If they do not do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less,” Trump concluded.
He left the briefing room without taking questions.
Trump said Thursday he had planned to take “a very strong position” on church re-openings as the country struggles to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
“One of the things I want to do is get the churches open,” Trump told reporters yesterday outside White House lawn.
“The churches are not being treated with respect by a lot of the Democrat governors. I want to get the churches open, and we’re going to take a very strong position on that very soon. … including mosques.”
According to the NY Post, Trump’s comments on Thursday came after Chicago began fining churches for holding services that do not comply with Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s statewide stay-at-home order.
The Chicago Police Department told Fox News that three churches will be hit with penalties for services that were held on Sunday.
The NY Post further reported that a few churches in some states that had reopened, have since closed again due to some uptick of coronavirus, but this has not be the case for every church that has reopened.
In addition, the White House continues to recommend social distancing, face masks and, ultimately, general common sense as one would do to protect themselves and others—especially the most vulnerable—from any virus.