Asked by a reporter on Tuesday what authority he had to “override” governors on the matter, the President doubled down on his claim.
“I can absolutely do it if I want to, and I don’t think I’m going to have to, because it’s starting to open up,” Trump said.
“We need people that are going to be leading us in faith. And we’re opening ’em up, and if I have to, I will override any governor that wants to play games. If they want to play games, that’s OK, but we will win, and we have many different ways where I can override them,” the President continued.
He also said the reopening of houses of worship should be the choice of worshippers and religious leaders, not governors.
“There may be some areas where the pastor or whoever may feel that it’s not quite ready and that’s OK, but let that be the choice of the congregation and the pastor,” Trump said.
The federal guidance issued last week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers leeway to organizations to decide what they should do to limit the spread of the virus, and the CDC describes the guidelines as “general considerations,” “suggestions” and “non-binding public health guidance for consideration only.”