This past week, President Trump announced, under the new guidelines set down by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), that houses of worship are to now be classified as "essential." This means that after being closed during the lockdowns related to the coronavirus, Trump called up the governors of all fifty states to open the houses "right now."
During a briefing at the White House on Friday, Trump announced the new policy as it relates to churches, synagogues, and mosque’s nationwide.
He said: “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now—for this weekend.” Trump went on to say that “if they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”
Trump strongly added: "In America, we need more prayer, not less."
There are those, however, that bring to mention just what authority President Trump has that make him able to override governors. It could be in the fact that Trump took very strong issues with the fact that certain businesses were allowed to remain open, whereas churches were not permitted to do so.
William Barr, the current US Attorney General, issued a warning last month that the coronavirus pandemic restrictions that both state and local governments had put into place should be fair and even, and as such, should not be singling out any religion-based organizations.
Trump stated that some local and state governments have seen fit to classify liquor stores and even abortion clinics as "essential" with the ability to remain open. At the same time, churches and houses of worship nationwide were told they had to shutter their doors.
He went on to state that this is just not right, and as such, he was going to correct what is an injustice and will now deem all houses of worship as "essential."
In new guidelines handed down by the CDC this past Friday, communities of faith were being acknowledged. The CDC admitted that “millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life.” But the organization went on to warn that “gatherings present a risk for increasing the spread of COVID-19.”
Should house of worship been deemed “essential” from the beginning?