US President Donald Trump addressed the issue of prayer during the coronavirus outbreak on Friday and said houses of worships offer a vital service and should be reopened across the country for Memorial Day weekend, saying, “We need more prayer,” The New York Daily News reported on Friday.
Trump directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update its coronavirus guidelines so that houses of worship be deemed “essential."
“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics essential but left out churches and houses of worship. It is not right,” he said, vowing to override the state governors should they refuse.Mass prayer had been limited in most states as people might get infected with coronavirus should they attend services.
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) responded to Trump by saying that "we have known for millennia that houses of worship are essential institutions. While we long to gather in person, we believe that there is no higher value than pikuach nefesh, saving a life."
"The Reform Jewish Movement will continue to look to the wisdom of medical professionals to guide us on when reopening our synagogues can be done safely in keeping with our values," the URJ added.
The announcement follows an interview White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany gave Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in which she said she believes “President Trump is the person meant for this moment.”
McEnany told Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) that she believes prayer made a difference in the 2016 elections and that while she does not think God places a particular party in power, she does think Trump was “meant for this moment,” The Hill reported on Wednesday.
"I think this country needed someone to fight for life, to fight for religious liberty,” she said. “And I believe that President Trump was that person.”
Trump won considerable support among Evangelical voters and other conservative Christian groups for a variety of reasons: from his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem to his call to "Make America Great Again," which some view as a call to return to traditional values.
While conservative voters aren't blind to Trump's personal biography, which includes divorces, being a reality television star and personal relations with porn stars, those who favor him view him as a force for a positive change to lead America closer to their vision.