Trump declares churches ‘essential,’ calls on them to reopen

WASHINGTON (AP) — Churches and other houses of worship are now at the center of the health debate.  President Donald Trump says he has deemed them “essential” and is calling on governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the threat of the coronavirus. He says: “Today I’m identifying houses of worship — churches, synagogues and mosques — as essential places that provide essential services.” Trump made the announcement during a hastily arranged press conference Friday at the White House, where he didn’t take questions. He says if governors don’t abide by his request, he will “override” them, though it’s unclear what authority he has to do so. Some governors are raising questions about when it will be safe to reopen some activities,