President Trump Declares Churches ‘Essential,’ Threatens To Roll Governors Who Don’t Let Them Re-Open

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President Donald Trump today declared churches essential and called on state governors who haven’t lifted executive orders banning public religious services to do so.

At the White House on Friday, May 22, the president said the following:


Today I am identifying houses of worship – churches, synagogue, and mosques – as essential places that provide essential services. Some governors have deemed 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, go 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.


Skeptics are questioning the president’s legal authority to override governors.

The president’s announcement comes a day after the surfacing of a high-profile conflict in Minnesota, where the Roman Catholic bishops announced they plan to re-open churches on Tuesday, May 26, ignoring a coronavirus-related executive order from Governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, that continues to limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer.

The Minnesota bishops instead plan to allow churches to re-open at 33 percent of their building capacity, in addition to requiring social distancing and other health precautions.