16:38 GMT08 March 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that places of worship in the United States are now deemed as places that provide "essential" services and urged the governors of the 50 US states to allow them to reopen.

    "Today, I am identifying houses of worship - churches, synagogues and mosques - as essential places that provide essential services. … I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now," Trump said.

    Trump said he wants governors to allow places of worship to open this weekend and emphasized that he will override any governor's decision to keep them closed.

    The United States, as of midday Friday, has more than 1.5 million novel coronavirus cases and more than 95,000 deaths related to the COVID-19 disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    Donald Trump, churches, US
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