Trump calls on churches to reopen this weekend

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President Donald Trump on Friday said he has deemed churches and other houses of worship "essential" and called on governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the threat of the coronavirus.

The president began by saying the DCD will be issuing guidances for communities of faith before announcing, "Today I am identifying houses of worship - churches, synagogues, and mosques - as essential places that provide essential services".

President Trump calls for houses of faith to open this weekend and says if local governments get in the way, he will override the governors.

"These are places that hold our society together", he said.

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At the same time, state bans on "non-essential" activity across the country have caused massive job losses, with more than 33 million Americans filing for unemployment and studies predicting that tens of thousands of small businesses that have closed down will never reopen.

Recent reports revealed that the White House disputed proposed Centers for Disease Control guidelines prepared for the reopening of churches, delaying their release. "I want to get our churches open, and we're going to take a very strong position on that very soon".

"Our people want to go back to church on Sundays", Trump said during an appearance in Michigan Thursday. "If they don't do it, I will override the governors".

In one case highlighted by the CDC, 38 percent of attendees at one rural Arkansas church developed COVID-19 in early March.

Trump telegraphed the decision Thursday when he announced he spoke to the CDC on finding ways to reopen houses of worship during the pandemic.

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