De Blasio calls Trump’s order to reopen churches ‘dangerous’ for NYCMay 26, 2020
Mayor Bill de Blasio said President Trump’s announcement that all houses of worship provide “essential services” and should be reopened immediately was a “dangerous” directive and not one that should be followed in the Big Apple.
“With all due respect to the president, the president left the impression on Friday that any and all religious services should start again,” de Blasio said Tuesday during his first press briefing since Trump’s announcement.
“I’m saying very clearly that is dangerous. It is not time to restart large gatherings of any kind even though we deeply, deeply value faith,” de Blasio said.
“The key faith leaders of this city are saying it’s not time across the board. I spent much of the last few days talking to faith leaders and I said to them, ‘What do you feel about this moment? What’s right for your congregation, for your people”
“To a one they said, ‘It is not the time for large gatherings and it is not the time for traditional large services again,” de Blasio repeated.
Religious and other gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed in New York following a lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s prior ban.
Last week during a White House briefing Trump declared houses of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques “essential places.”
“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics [are] essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship, it’s not right. So I am correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow churches and places of worship to open right now,” the president 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. If they do not do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less,” Trump concluded.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said reopening houses of worship should follow CDC guidelines about social distancing and sanitizing facilities.
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