Donald Trump made a surprise announcement of questionable legality Friday, declaring that all “houses of worship” are being deemed essential services by the federal government and threatening to “override” governors who don’t open these places in their states. Trump put on his tough guy face and made this statement to the White House press before leaving without answering questions.
“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics essential, but have left our churches and houses of worship. It’s not right. So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential,” he said.
TRUMP: "Some governors have deemed liquor stores & abortion clinics essential, but have left out churches ... it's not right. So I am correcting this injustice & am calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow churches & places of worship to open right now" pic.twitter.com/e0VU8XeLEm— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 22, 2020
The president also says that the CDC will be releasing guidelines to help places of worship such as “churches, synagogue, and mosques” open safely. And no, that’s not a typo, he said “synagogue.” Which one synagogue is allowed to open was not disclosed.
According to a senior Trump administration official who spoke with CNN, the CDC guidelines for opening up these places to the public during the pandemic were initially delayed because “some officials” found them to be too detailed and hard to follow. They were even considering making this announcement without issuing any guidelines at all, but Trump insisted they issue something.
Sounds like it’s not safe to open up houses of worship.
Trump just said churches are ‘essential services’ and that he will override any governors who try to keep churches closed.— God (@thegoodgodabove) May 22, 2020
In other news, a new Fox News poll shows Trump losing to Biden 48-40.pic.twitter.com/64SFu6kB5p
As for Trump “overriding” governors on this order, it’s very unlikely that he is allowed to do so because of the whole states’ rights thing. But of course, that won’t stop him from trying.
“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, this weekend,” he said. “If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”
“If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call.”
It is 100 percent believable that anyone calling Trump to get answers would be unsuccessful in that endeavor.
People are not very pleased about the rest of the announcement, however, with many accusing him of a desperate grab for votes following some grim poll numbers around this year’s election.
me @ Trump’s sudden and unsubstantiated threat to “override” governors who don’t open churches this weekend pic.twitter.com/X8NaTKqiwb— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) May 22, 2020
Trump's simply throwing red meat to his base — and he knows it. He's out of moves. His attempt at 'opening the churches' won't win him any independent voters.— Dr. Jack Brown (@DrGJackBrown) May 22, 2020
Trump demanding churches open is such a naked pander to evangelicals & orthodox I can’t even stand it. If evangelicals wanted to stay close but mosques really wanted to open, do you really think he’d stand up for them?— Elon James White wears a Mask (@elonjames) May 22, 2020
Infect yourselves at church then go to your service jobs.
Trump demands that churches be recognized as "essential" services. He says that he will use his kingly powers (we added that) and "will override the governors" if they don't fall in line with his "decree." He then walks off the stage. No questions. He is losing and he's flailing.— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@duty2warn) May 22, 2020
Who died & left Trump God? Of the nearly 100,000 thousand souls, not one of them would deem him so. By what authority does he have to overrule governors? Churches have been super spreaders. Pastors have died. Donald would not know a prayer if he was asked. https://t.co/o32if9vw1z— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) May 22, 2020
Trump throws a bone and his considerable weight to Evangelicals by demanding the opening churches now. https://t.co/AJkX5y6OVB— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) May 22, 2020
Churches are like masks for Trump: they are essential for other people...— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) May 22, 2020
Trump grandstanding about opening churches. He thinks it’ll help him. I’m not sure he understands how viruses spread.— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) May 22, 2020
Oh fuck. Trump is opening the churches and there goes the fucking Coronavirus curve.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) May 22, 2020
Trump is now calling for churches to reopen... calling them “essential” houses of worship... Well, if Americans listen to the Devil, they’re gonna get as close to God as possible... 😈😵— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) May 22, 2020
Don’t mind him, just focus on getting your states to implement vote by mail systems for November.