WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Friday urged U.S. states to allow the reopening this weekend of places of worship that have been closed due to the coronavirus, and warned he would override governors who do not do so.
At a short appearance in the White House briefing room, Trump said he was declaring that places of worship – churches, synagogues and mosques – are providing essential services and thus should be opened as soon as possible.
Places of worship have been closed as part of stay-at-home orders most states have used to try to control the spread of the coronavirus. With the infection rate declining in many areas, there is pressure to begin reopening.
New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage worshipers to bow or wave instead of shaking hands, hugging or kissing.