Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump speaks to the media May 22, 2020, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump proclaimed Friday that churches and other houses of worship are “essential” and called on governors who have shut them down amid the coronavirus pandemic to allow them to reopen this weekend.
“Today I’m identifying houses of worship — churches, synagogues and mosques — as essential places that provide essential services,” Trump announced at the White House.
He said if governors don’t abide by his request, he will “override” them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had prepared a draft of reopening guidelines for churches and other houses of worship weeks ago that included measures such as maintaining distance between parishioners and limiting the size of gatherings.
But that guidance had been delayed for more than a month until the