"It's not right", said Trump. "It's not right. So I'm correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential".
Many people of faith have complained that draconian coronavirus lockdowns unfairly targeted churches. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted an Arkansas church where 92 people attended church events in one weekend, leading to 35 COVID-19 infections and three deaths. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan banned Catholic priests from going within six feet of their parishioners.
"But there is way to social distance.in places of worship", she said. The pastor faces a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
"Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will again lead the American people in solemn remembrance of those courageous American patriots who laid down their lives so we can live in the land of the free", the official said in a statement. "That's above my paygrade", he said.
A suit filed by churches and individuals in OR led to a county judge declaring Democratic Gov. Kate Brown's order "null and void", but that ruling was blocked by the state Supreme Court.
After legal challenges in several states about statewide stay-at-home orders prohibiting or severely limiting the ability for churches to meet, Trump said any governor that resists his order to lift restrictions on worship gatherings will have to deal directly with him. If there's any questions, they're gonna 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", he said. He said he trusts faith leaders to take proper steps to protect the health of their congregations. "It sends a bad, bad message to the citizens of Baltimore because I'm asking them to stay home and only come out for essential reasons", Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young told CNN's "Inside Politics" on Friday.
As a result, the CDC warns faith organizations to be aware of the risk of high transmission rates if they choose to begin gathering in-person.
Since then, Trump has repeatedly called for governors to allow churches to reopen. He said if governors don't abide by his request, he will "override" them, though it is unclear what authority he has to do so.