coronavirus

Trump declares churches ‘essential,’ calls on them to reopen

Coronavirus

President Donald Trump points while boarding Air Force One as he departs Thursday, May 21, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump will visit a Ypsilanti, Mich., Ford plant that has been converted to making personal protection and medical equipment. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he has deemed churches and other houses of worship “essential” and is calling on governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the threat of the coronavirus.

He says: “Today I’m identifying houses of worship — churches, synagogues and mosques — as essential places that provide essential services.”

Trump made the announcement during a hastily arranged press conference Friday at the White House, where he didn’t take questions. He says if governors don’t abide by his request, he will “override” them, though it’s unclear what authority he has to do so.

© 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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