At the White House Friday, President Trump said all houses of worship in the U.S. should open this weekend and called them “essential.” He threatened to override any governors who wouldn’t allow them to open.
DONALD TRUMP: Thank you very much. At my direction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing guidance for communities of faith. I want to thank Dr. Redfield and the CDC for their work on this matter and all the other work they've been doing over the past, what now seems like a long period of time.
Today I'm identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogue, and mosques as essential places that provide essential services. Some governors have deemed the liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It's not right.
So I'm correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. If there's any question, they're going to have to call me, but they're not going to be successful in that call.
These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united. The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue or to their mosque. Many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life.
The ministers, pastors, rabbis, imams, and other faith leaders will make sure that their congregations are safe as they gather and pray. I know them well. They love their congregations. They love their people. They don't want anything bad to happen to them or to anybody else.
The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now for this weekend. If they don't do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less. Thank you very much. Thank you.