President Donald Trump speaks with reporters about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump has called for the reopening of houses of worship, declaring them "essential'' services".
The president wants governors to allow them to reopen this weekend. "If they don't do it, I will override the governors,'' Trump says. "In America, we need more prayer not less."
Trump says the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention also was issuing guidance for communities of faith to hold safe gatherings.
The president's comment came one day after he prodded the agency to issue guidelines, so congregations can restart gatherings for worshipers.
The CDC previously sent the Trump administration documents outlining steps for religious facilities to reopen, but the White House shelved them at the time out of concerns about the propriety of government making specific dictates to places of worships.
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