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

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President Donald Trump on Friday demanded that governors reopen churches, synagogues and mosques “right now,” and threatened to “override” state leaders’ restrictions if they do not do so by the weekend.

Trump said it was an “injustice” that some state leaders have allowed “liquor stores and abortion clinics” to stay open amid the Covid-19 pandemic while closing houses of worship.

“It’s not right,” Trump said. “I’m calling houses of worship essential.”

“If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call,” Trump said of state leaders.

“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend,” Trump said. “If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”

States, not the federal government, have imposed harsh restrictions on residents and businesses to try to slow the spread of the disease. The White House has only released guidelines for states and regional leaders to follow as they combat the disease.

But with the U.S. economy straining under the social distancing rules, Trump has loudly called on the country to begin the reopening process.

More than 1.58 million cases and at least 95,052 deaths from the coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

At a veterans event earlier Friday, Trump said that he would soon issue a “very strong recommendation” on reopening churches. “We want our churches open, we want our places of faith, synagogues, we want them open,” Trump said then.

“That’s going to start happening. I consider them essential, and that’s one of the things we are saying,” Trump said.

Numerous states – including New York, the epicenter of the crisis in the U.S. – have already relaxed some social distancing rules for religious gatherings.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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