Trump demands states reopen houses of worship ‘now’

President Trump said Friday that he wanted state governors to allow the nation’s houses of worship to reopen “right now” despite the ongoing health risks from the coronavirus pandemic posed by large gatherings of people.

“Today I’m identifying houses of worship — churches, synagogue and mosques — as essential places that provide essential services,” Trump told reporters gathered in the White House press briefing room. “Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. That’s not right.”

Trump’s announcement came one day after he instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release guidelines for reopening houses of worship that have been shuttered to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. While the CDC issued a lengthy update to its website on Thursday detailing safety protocols, the president was much more succinct.

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