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Trump slams governors, demands they open houses of worship ‘right now’

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on April 23, 2020, in Washington, DC.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

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.

“That’s going to start happening. I consider them essential, and that’s one of the things we are saying,” Trump said.

More than 1.58 million cases and at least 95,052 deaths from the coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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