Trump slams governors, demands they open houses of worship 'right now'

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President Donald Trump on Friday urged USA state governors to allow places of worship to reopen immediately, as the country moves gradually towards a lifting of COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Trump announced the policy for churches, synagogues and mosques, during a short briefing at the White House. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany didn't elaborate on what action Trump would take if governors didn't direct churches and other places of worship to open, calling those situations hypothetical. "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", he said.

President Donald Trump talks to reporters before departing the White House for a trip to Michigan, Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Washington.


"I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now", he continued.

While Trump did not offer details on what that "very strong position" might entail, he could be referring to an expansion of work his Justice Department (DOJ) is already doing to restore the right of religious Americans' to gather in person for worship services. When people do need to go out, the CDC recommends practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and frequently washing hands and sanitizing surfaces.

The CDC released a report this week highlighting a coronavirus outbreak in Arkansas linked to a church community.

Trump telegraphed the decision Thursday when he announced he spoke to the CDC on finding ways to reopen houses of worship during the pandemic.

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