President Donald Trump on Friday demanded that governors reopen churches, synagogues and mosques “right now,” threatening to override them if they do not do so by the weekend.
It marked the president’s latest attempt to ramp up the political stakes surrounding the country’s coronavirus recovery efforts. He is facing a tough reelection fight and as he sinks in polls against apparent Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Trump said at a veterans event earlier Friday that he would soon issue a “very strong recommendation” on reopening churches. “We want our churches open, we want our places of faith, synagogues, we want them open,” Trump said then.
President Trump says governors must open places of worship and allow people to gather at them this weekend.
He adds a threat, “If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 22, 2020
Trump comes out to announce that he is demanding that churches be recognized as “essential” services and that “I will override the governors” if they don’t fall in line with his decree. He walks off the stage and refuses to take questions on the strange announcement. pic.twitter.com/I3DdkH2nO3
— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) May 22, 2020
Pres Trump announces he’s designating all Houses of Worship as places that provide “essential services” and calls on all Governors to allow them to open now. “If they don’t do it, I will override the Governors,” says the president in brief statement. Takes no questions. pic.twitter.com/5R3ODc4B2W
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) May 22, 2020
Trump says he will “override the governors” and allow all churches to open this weekend.
…right after we learned that 39 of the 92 people (38%) who attended a rural church in Arkansas one week in March caught the coronavirus, and 3 died of it. https://t.co/CYWGzJmwJv
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) May 22, 2020
Accepting that Trump has no actual authority to “override the governors,” this rhetoric creates an appetite for authoritarianism among his supporters. It moves the Overton Window. https://t.co/NcEwkTTd24
— Christian Vanderbrouk (@UrbanAchievr) May 22, 2020
I’m sure the ironically named Federalist Society supports Trump’s authoritarian claim that he can override governors, but that’s not something our federal structure actually permits.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) May 22, 2020