U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered churches to reopen, labeling houses of worship as “essential” and calling on governors to allow them to hold services, even as any faith communities are not buying into his latest tack and governors appear to be hesitant to abide by his order.

In an Associated Press (AP) story written by Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller on May 22, 2020, Trump also threatened to override the shutdown orders of governors even as the law is clear that he has no authority to junk the decision of states. Trump wants companies to restart normal business operations to shore up his sagging poll performances, with more surveys showing more people distrust him, with Fox News national survey showing he is 8% percent behind presumptive Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden.

Following Trump’s announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for faith communities on how to safely reopen, including recommendations to limit the size of gatherings and consider holding services outdoors or in large, well-ventilated areas, Colvin and Miller reported.

“Public health agencies have generally advised people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and encouraged Americans to remain 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from others when possible. Some parts of the country remain under some version of remain-at-home orders,” they added. #COVID19