Trump calls on governors to reopen churches
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/22/20, 02:21 pm
President Donald Trump on Friday called churches, synagogues, and mosques “essential,” insisting that governors allow them to reopen this weekend. He also said he’d “override” state leaders if they didn’t follow his instructions. During a trip to Michigan on Thursday, the president said he instructed federal health officials to release guidance to help churches reopen. “They’re going to be issuing something today or tomorrow on churches,” he said, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We got to get our churches open.”
What caused the delay? A Trump administration official said the White House had been concerned about the government dictating specific orders to churches. So far, the CDC has released guidelines for six types of organizations, including schools and restaurants, in the past two weeks. The initial draft presented to the Trump administration offered guidance for religious organizations. The recommendations specify social distancing requirements and symptom-checking, among other measures.
Dig deeper: Read Sophia Lee’s report about the financial struggles of some churches during the pandemic.
Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.