Trump declares places of worship 'essential,' setting up standoff with governors

Ross Houston
May 22, 2020

It marked the president's latest attempt to ramp up the political stakes surrounding the country's coronavirus recovery efforts.

Trump's push to return churchgoers to pews that have been empty for weeks comes just days after churches in Georgia and Texas, both states with Republican governors, announced that they would close again after experiencing acute outbreaks of the virus after they opened.

Trump says the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention also was issuing guidance for communities of faith to hold safe gatherings.

"That's going to start happening". "So I'm correcting this injustice in calling houses of worship essential".

This is breaking news. "If they don't do it, I will override the governors". Many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life.

During his Friday announcement, Trump noted that liquor stores and abortion clinics had been allowed to remain open during the near nation-wide shutdown because they qualified as "essential" services but churches didn't. The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue, go to their mosque. According to the Washington Post, release of the guidance was initially delayed after the White House and CDC officials disagreed on whether to put restrictions on religious institutions, with the White House preferring fewer constraints. Today I'm identifying housing of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques, as essential places that provide essential services, some governors have identified as essential places that provide essential services. "Tragically, there are many COVID clusters involving houses of worship, including some that have recently reopened".

Bishop Joe S. Vásque of the Austin diocese notified Central Texas parishes on April 30 about plans to resume celebration of Mass on May 5 and asked them to follow protocols consistent with earlier guidance from state officials.

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