President Donald Trump on Friday announced that he was designating churches, synagogues and mosques as “essential places that provide essential services” as the nation continues to combat the coronavirus, despite having little legal sway over state governance.
“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out houses of worship. It’s not right,” Trump said. “So I’m correcting this injustice by calling houses of worship essential.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to issue guidance to places of worship on how to reopen safely.
“If they don’t do it, I will override the governors,” the president threatened.
Trump has previously attempted to wield his authority over state governors, particularly those who have criticized him, but legal scholars say he has little formal power to force governors or businesses to do what he wants.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter