WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is calling on all state governors to reopen churches and other houses of worship immediately, he said during a White House briefing Friday.
These newly-released guidelines identify all houses of worships as essential places — with the president saying they provide essential services. President Trump said it’s “not right” for governors to identify businesses like liquor stores as essential rather than churches.
“I’m correcting this injustice and I’m calling houses of worship essential,” President Trump said. “I’m calling on governors to allow houses of worship to open right now.”
The news comes a day after the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they had finally reached an agreement on how to reopen churches — with the president saying, “We got to get our churches open.”
“If they don’t do it, I will override the governors,” President Trump said.
The release of guidance information had been previously delayed, after disagreements within the White House and the CDC. The original document was 68 pages, but reportedly shelved by the White House with concerns it was too specific.
The CDC then released its revised 60 page document, detailing guidance on reopening schools, restaurants, public transit and other businesses.
The guidelines state a phased reopening plan that still encourages social distancing, while avoiding mass gatherings when possible.
“Limit gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and restrict attendance of those from higher transmission areas,” the guidelines state.
This story is developing and will be updated.
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