United States President Donald Trump says he wants churches to reopen as quickly as possible, declaring them essential to the country.
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.
“If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less,” he warned.
“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.”
“We want them (churches) to reopen. I mean literally, I just got off the phone with CDC and I talked about churches. I said, ‘I want the churches to open.’ And 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 and our country is coming back,” Trump told reporters during a round table meeting of African American leaders in Michigan Thursday.
While statewide shutdowns which began in March helped prevent up to 2.5 million people from dying, “it’s time for our country to open again,” the president said.
“I think you’ll start with churches, I think you’ll start with some other states that have been very resistant. You have a lot of, unfortunately in this case Democrat governors, I think they think it’s good politics to keep it closed. But what are they doing? They are hurting themselves. I don’t think it is good politics. They are hurting themselves. They are hurting their state and it’s not good,” Trump said, according to Christian Post.
“I think they are being forced to open, frankly. The people want to get out. You’ll break the country if you don’t. And I think they look at it as a possible November question. It’s not a November question, it happens to be very bad for them,” he added, alluding to the upcoming general election.
When asked if he was prioritizing the reopening of churches over other establishments, Trump explained that he believes the work of the church is “essential.”
“Churches, to me, they are so important in terms of the psyche of our country. Beyond to me, I think they use the word essential. Churches are essential. People want to be in their churches. It’s wonderful to sit home and watch something on a laptop but it can never be the same as being in a church and being with your friends,” he said. “They want to have it opened and I think that’s going to be happening very shortly, very, very shortly. So that will be put out maybe tomorrow. Maybe today.”