Trump: ‘My Biggest Disappointment Is That Churches Can’t Meet in a Time of Need’

Melanie Arter | April 1, 2020 | 9:06pm EDT
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(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

( - President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he’s disappointed that churches can’t hold services because of social distancing guidelines limiting the number of people allowed at large gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I wanted to ask you about social distancing and how it applies to religious organizations. Some churches as you know how to continue hold services even though you have advised them to practice social distancing. There was a pastor of a mega-church that was attended by several hundred people. My question is, should pastors be holding services in the middle of this pandemic?” a reporter asked at the White House press briefing with the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“My biggest disappointment is that churches can't meet in a time of need. This is a great time for churches to be together, people to get together on a Sunday or any day and meet. Yet if you do that, if you do it close you are really giving this invisible enemy a very big advantage,” Trump said.

That’s why the president originally picked April 12 - Easter Sunday - as the date he would begin to relax social distancing guidelines and reopen the certain parts of the country. On Sunday, he said that was an “aspirational date” and announced that social distancing would continue until at least April 30.

“It's the single biggest disappointment. One of the reasons I said, wouldn't it be great just to pick a date, as I called it, an aspirational date, which would be Easter, and I will tell you it's very, very disappointing, but again, you get too close, and if somebody is sick, you will probably catch it, so you have to be very careful,” the president said.

As reported, Florida Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was arrested and charged with unlawful assembly and violation of a public health emergency order for holding two Sunday services which hundreds of people attended despite the state’s social distancing guidelines.

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