President Trump: “Today, I am identifying houses of worship – churches, synagogue and mosques – as essential places that provide essential services…I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 22, 2020
Courtesy of USA Today:
President Donald Trump said Friday his administration will deem churches and other places of worship “essential” during the coronavirus pandemic, a day after he slammed Democratic governors for what he described as moving too slowly to bring parishioners back to their pews.
“In America, we need more prayer, not less,” Trump said during brief remarks at the White House.
Trump called on governors to reopen places of worship over the Memorial Day weekend. The impact of that designation was not immediately clear: State and local officials decide which businesses are essential and enforce social distancing.
“If there’s any question,” Trump said of governors, “they’re going to have to call me.”
Few lockdown restrictions have stirred as much controversy as those applied to churches, repeatedly thrusting social distancing efforts into preexisting cultural and political conflicts. Trump’s Justice Department has sided with churches over state shutdown orders in several cases, arguing the orders violate constitutional rights.
You may recognize this as the part of the horror movie called “foreshadowing” that hints at the terror about to befall our hapless protagonists.
Sadly, in this case, those protagonists are all of us.