Trump makes unenforceable threat to governors over churches
President Donald Trump announced that his administration is issuing guidance deeming places of worship "essential" during the coronavirus pandemic, calling on governors to reopen religious institutions for services.
Trump threatened to "override" governors if their states did not follow the new federal recommendations, but it was unclear what authority the President was referring to. The recommendations are voluntary.
"Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics essential, but have left out churches and houses of worship. It's not right. So I'm correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential," Trump said during his announcement at the White House.
Trump said he was calling upon governors to "allow churches and places of worship to open right now."
"If there's any question, they're going to have to call me, but they're not going to be successful in that call," Trump added.
"The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, this weekend. If they don't do it, I will override the governors," he continued.
Joe Biden excoriated President Trump in a virtual anniversary message on Saturday commemorating the launch of his campaign. President Trump is threatening to move the Republican National Convention from North Carolina, and both Florida's and Georgia's governors have offered to take over hosting on short notice. Steve Contorno, political editor for the Tampa Bay Times, spoke to CBSN's Tanya Rivero about where the convention could end up. During the coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump falsely claimed he has "total authority" over what decisions the states can make to reopen businesses once the threat of the coronavirus has subsided. As President Trump and governors across the nation prepare to reopen the economy, they're also looking at ways to safely reopen churches. One Americas Stefan Kleinhenz caught up with a pastor, who is serving on the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission and the president's Faith Task Force to help reopen places of worship in America. .