Trump calls on governors to reopen churches amid coronavirus pandemic
United States of America President Donald Trump has called on governors to reopen all churches this weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic as he labeled them as essential services to the community, The Telegraph has revealed.
Addressing journalists on Friday at the White House, Trump threatened to “override” governors who refuse to comply with his orders pertaining to the reopening of the churches this weekend.
“Governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now – for this weekend,” he said.
Trump stressed on the imperativeness of the churches in many communities, and made it clear that he is “identifying houses of worship – churches, synagogues, and mosques – as essential places that provide essential services”.
“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential” but not churches, he said.
“It’s not right. So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.
“These are places that hold our society together and keep our people United, “ he added.
Co-ordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force Dr. Deborah Birx urged all church leaders to get in touch with the local health department to be advised on how they could reopen their places of worship so as to lower the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
“There’s a way for us to work together to have social distancing and safety for people so we decrease the amount of exposure that anyone would have to an asymptomatic,” she said.
Some did not welcome the order by Trump including president of the Interfaith Alliance Rabbi Jack Moline who said the move by Trump was completely irresponsible.
“Faith is essential and community is necessary, however, neither requires endangering the people who seek to participate in them.
The virus does not discriminate between types of gatherings, and neither should the President,” he said.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, a Democrat rebuked Trump’s order saying she is skeptical Trump had the power to call governors to reopen churches and she will not allow the reopening of churches in her state until at least next weekend.
“It’s reckless to force them to reopen this weekend. They’re not ready. We’ve got a good plan. I’m going to stick with it,” she said.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, said he will firstly look at the federal guidance and consider some decisions quickly in relation to what that document might direct them to do.
“Obviously we’d love to get to the point where we can get those open, but we’ll look at the guidance documents and try to make some decisions rather quickly, depending on what it might say. It’s the governor’s decision, of course,” he said.
The guidance which was released on Friday calls for the use of the face mask and recommended worshipers to keep 1.8m away from each other to avoid the transmission of the virus through aerosolized drops as they sing.