The Trump administration has rejected guidelines drawn up by the CDC, citing freedom of religion and economic concerns: report


The Trump administration has rejected guidelines proposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to take public health precautions to reopen the economy safely, according to The New York Times.

The guidelines were written to indicate how schools, restaurants, churches and other establishments can reopen safely.

These include using disposable dishes and utensils in restaurants, closing all other rows of seats on buses and trains while limiting transit routes to areas with high levels of coronavirus infection .

They also recommend separating children at school and in camps into groups that shouldn’t mix throughout the day, among other suggestions.

White House officials have reportedly rejected the guidelines, fearing it would hamper the administration’s efforts to quickly reopen the economy.

An official with the Department of Health and Social Services rejected any directive in the churches, saying the measures would infringe on religious freedoms, the newspaper said.

According to guidelines written by the Times, the CDC recommends that religious congregations maintain social distance by observing services via live broadcast, especially if some members of the community are elderly or otherwise at risk.

The public health agency also advises against “sharing frequently touched items” such as worship aids, hymns, prayer books, newsletters, and other books, among other suggestions.

“Governments have a duty to educate the public on how to stay safe during this crisis and can absolutely do so without telling people how they should worship God,” said Roger Severino, director of the Department of Health and social services of the Office of Civil Affairs. Rights, according to the Times.

The news comes as Vice President Pence this week said the White House would end the work of the task force because many states were reopening their processes. However, Trump reversed course on Wednesday, saying the task force would not be completely disbanded but would evolve.

The president said he would stay in place “indefinitely” but could “add or subtract” members of the task force.


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