White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, May 6, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images) (CNSNews.com) – Following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he now considers places of worship to be “essential,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany pushed back on questions Friday about where Trump has the authority to order governors to allow churches to safely reopen.
“A couple of questions to follow up on the president’s announcement. First, just to clarify, he came out and said, I’m calling on governors to allow churches and places of worship to open up right now. Dr. Birx just said in areas where they have high cases of COVID-19, maybe they should think about waiting a week. Which is it and why the mixed messaging?” NBC’s Kristen Welker asked. “That’s up to the governors. As it’s said in our guidance, we note that while many types of gatherings are important for civic and economic well-being, religious worship has particularly profound significance to communities and individuals, including as a right protected by the First Amendment. The president wants to see the communities open. Dr. Birx was integral to making these guidelines, and they lay out a pretty clear path for faith communities to reopen,” McEnany said.
Welker asked under what authority can Trump override the governors’ order, and the reporter pointed out that weeks ago, the president said it’s all up to the governors on when to reopen.
“I think you’re posing a hypothetical. You are posing a hypothetical though. You’re assuming governors will keep churches shut down, keep mosques shut down, and keep synagogues shut down. That is a hypothetical question. We will leave it to faith communities to reopen. I think we can all hope […]