President Donald Trump is demanding that churches reopen as the United States heads into the Memorial Day weekend.
During a press briefing on Friday, the president identified “houses of worship” including churches, synagogues, and mosques as “essential places that provide essential services.”
Trump went on to accuse governors of allowing liquor stores and abortion clinics to take precedence over churches. As a result of the new essential classification of churches, Trump also demanded churches open immediately.
“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics essential, but have left out churches,” Trump said. “It’s not right. So I am correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.”
He continued, “I call upon governors to allow churches and places of worship to open right now.”
Trump went on to challenge governors saying, “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now this weekend.”
See Trump’s remarks below:
TRUMP: "Some governors have deemed liquor stores & abortion clinics essential, but have left out churches … it's not right. So I am correcting this injustice & am calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow churches & places of worship to open right now" pic.twitter.com/e0VU8XeLEm— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 22, 2020
Trump also noted that he would override governors’ orders if they disagree with his demand.
“If they don’t do it I will override the governors. America, we need more prayer, not less,” Trump said.
While some have raised questions about the safety of reopening churches, Dr. Anthony Fauci has weighed in with advice on how to remain safe as states reopen.
Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, Fauci has appeared publicly with words of encouragement to those who are apprehensive about going out.
While he is encouraging Americans to enjoy the weekend, he also urged them to remain cognizant of their surroundings while continuing to practice social distancing, as previously reported on IJR.
Fauci has also noted the problems that could arise if the country stays closed for too long, saying that it could lead to “irreparable damage” for the U.S.
“I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go,” he said.