CNN Frets, It's 'Dangerous' for Trump to Call to Reopen Churches!

 CNN Frets, It's 'Dangerous' for Trump to Call to Reopen Churches!

CNN journalists showed what they really thought about religious freedom in this country following Friday’s White House press briefing. After President Trump announced that churches and houses of worship were “essential” and should be allowed to reopen, a CNN panel of Democrats, led by host Brianna Keilar, reacted in outrage, calling it “dangerous.”

As soon as White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany finished speaking, CNN Newsroom host Brianna Keilar was ready to attack President Trump for calling on churches to reopen.

She fumed that President Trump had “no authority” to demand governors let people go to church. Her overwrought commentary was complemented with CNN’s ridiculous chyron which read, “Trump insists he’ll open up churches, has no authority to do so”:

He is demanding that governors allow them to reopen this weekend. He threatened to override those governors even though, let’s be really clear, he can’t. He doesn’t have the authority to do this. He’s talked about doing this before when it comes to reopening government and he just doesn’t have the authority, right. So we’ve been there, done that on that issue. He does not have this authority.

Keilar then invited chief political analyst Gloria Borger to attack President Trump for playing “politics” and Dr. Deborah Birx for not challenging Trump’s directions to governors to let churches reopen if they want to.

“He’s seeing political opportunity here,” Borger agreed with Keilar. Borger also attacked McEnany for bringing up the First Amendment and religious rights, calling it an “absurd” dichotomy because after all, Democrats just want to keep people “safe”:

[I]f you’re trying to make this into a faith-based plan here versus those who have no faith, that’s absurd. And the second thing, Kayleigh McEnany was trying to make this into a First Amendment issue, saying of course people have the right to worship and then said the president is a great supporter of the First Amendment. We know the president called the media the enemy of the people time and time again.

…So this isn’t about faith, it isn’t about the First Amendment. It is about public health and it is about trying to keep people safe, and the issues are clear. I just think you can’t confuse them.

To her next guest, senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, Keilar fretted that people were going to get “sick and die” from this “political” decision that “not a single health expert” agrees with:

This is about politics. This is not about public health to be clear. Elizabeth Cohen, what did you think about this guidance and also what did you think about Dr. Birx, you know, someone who is not a politician, giving credence to this reopening when I have not heard a single public health expert say this is a good idea and that this will not result in people getting sick and dying.

Since no differing of opinions are allowed among CNN journalists, Cohen also complained about how wrong Dr. Birx was to back up Trump’s decision to let some churches reopen with CDC safety guidelines. She opined that religious people value human life and that was putting them at risk:

I’m no theologian but religions value human life, they value what God created which is all of us so do you really want to put all of us into one place, even if you do a deep cleaning, even if you don’t have a collection plate, even if you do all of those things, you are still putting a lot of people into one inside location.

After letting her two other Democrat guests rage about how Trump thought churchgoers were “expendable” now and he didn’t care about science, Keilar ended the segment warning how “dangerous” this was. Like a broken record, Keilar whined that Trump doesn’t have the power to override governors:

Yeah, this is dangerous what the president did today saying that at his direction, the CDC, having this guidance for communities of faith, he said identifying churches, synagogues and mosques as essential places that provide essential services and that he will override governors who do not open churches. To be clear, he does not have that authority but certainly can undermine them and sew confusion and chaos and maybe even threaten to withhold money. We’ve heard him talk about doing that but what he’s doing here is seeing political opportunity in this pandemic.

“To be clear,” CNN doesn’t have the “authority” to demand everyone bow to their draconian demands on how to handle reopening, either.

Read a relevant transcript, below:

CNN Newsroom
05/22/20
2:29:05PM – 2:35:02PM EST

BRIANNA KEILAR: The president deeming houses of worship essential. He set out his direction that the CDC has guidance for communities of faith. He is demanding that governors allow them to reopen this weekend. He threatened to override those governors even though, let’s be really clear, he can’t. He doesn’t have the authority to do this. He’s talked about doing this before when it comes to reopening government and he just doesn’t have the authority, right. So we’ve been there, done that on that issue. He does not have this authority. He can, however, create a lot of chaos, which I think we should probably expect here. Now, after he spoke, Dr. Birx was asked about the study that showed higher risk of death in coronavirus patients from the drug that the president is the touting and taking, hydroxychloroquine. She did not answer the question, right? So I want to bring in Gloria Borger. We can start, I mean there’s so much to cover here, Gloria. Let’s start with churches and the other thing I will say is I was listening to Dr. Birx because, look, she is someone who knows what she’s talking about when it comes to public health but I found her answer to be incredibly lacking because she said that she had confidence if people had symptoms, they won’t go to church and I thought, wait a second, you just said you can’t tell if someone’s infected with coronavirus because so many people are asymptomatic. She explained how if you ended up symptomatic, you could have been shedding the virus two days before unbeknownst to yourself because you didn’t have the symptoms and then if you were asymptomatic,you could be shedding the virus for six, seven days and never know. By her own measure, what she’s talkabout going back into churches just doesn’t fly. So let’s talk, Gloria, about why the president is doing this and why he’s seeing political opportunity here in this pandemic.

GLORIA BORGER: Well, it’s a muddled mess, first of all. He’s seeing political opportunity here. Remember when He told everyone in April he was going to open up the churches for Easter Sunday, it would be a miracle and I think Kayleigh McEnany herself when asked a question about opening up the churches by a journalist asking how can you be sure it’s safe, she said isn’t amazing how many people in this room seem to want to keep those churches closed or something to that effect, and the journalist said, ‘I go to church every Sunday. I object to that’. So if you’re trying to make this into a faith-based plan here versus those who have no faith, that’s absurd. And the second thing, Kayleigh McEnany was trying to make this into a First Amendment issue, saying of course people have the right to worship and then said the president is a great supporter of the First Amendment. We know the he president called the media the enemy of the people time and time again.

I think the message was completely muddled because when the president said I can override the governors as you pointed out. A president cannot override the governors and then when Kayleigh McEnany was asked about it, she didn’t really answer the question. She said she wants the governors in accordance with the guidelines to open up the churches and she said that it’s safe to open up the churches if you follow the guidelines. So what does that mean if a governor believes that because of asymptomatic spread or because perhaps churches are too small and can’t have the distancing or perhaps don’t have the opportunity to do servicesoutside, that this could be an issue.

And lots of governors are opening up churches. There are some governors with high amounts of COVID left , who are more skeptical about it. So this isn’t about faith, it isn’t about the First Amendment. It is about public health and it is about trying to keep people safe, and the issues are clear. I just think you can’t confuse them.

BRIANNA KEILAR: This is about politics. This is not about public health to be clear. Elizabeth Cohen, what did you think about this guidance and also what did you think about Dr. Birx, you know, someone who is not a politician, giving credence to this reopening when I have not heard a single public health expert say this is a good idea and that this will not result in people getting sick and dying.

ELIZABETH COHEN: Brianna, you can’t help but admire Dr. Birx when you look at her career and when you look at what she’s done that’s why I was as stunned as you were when I heard her say, ‘oh, you don’t go to church if you don’t feel well.’ She had just gotten through saying how many people are asymptomatic when they have this disease and they can spread it even when they’re asymptomatic. She had a long explanation about how you can’t just look at someone and say, Oh you’re healthy. Its ok, I don’t need to social distance with you. She went into detail and then said people who were sick don’t go to church. That’s the point, people asymptomatic go to church and that was stunning to hear her say that. I’m no theologian but religions value human life, they value what God created which is all of us so do you really want to put all of us into one place, even if you do a deep cleaning, even if you don’t have a collection plate, even if you do all of those things, you are still putting a lot of people into one inside location. Back in March, there was a church in Arkansas, a husband and wife, had COVID and over the next 6 days, 38% of the people who went to services at that church contracted covid, that was before we were doing all the measures, I just mentioned, but even with those measures it is still a lot of people in one enclosed space.

KEILAR: Yeah, this is dangerous what the president did today saying that at his direction, the CDC, having this guidance for communities of faith, he said identifying churches, synagogues and mosques as essential places that provide essential services and that he will override governors who do not open churches. To be clear, he does not have that authority but certainly can undermine them and sew confusion and chaos and maybe even threaten to withhold money. We’ve heard him talk about doing that but what he’s doing here is seeing political opportunity in this pandemic.

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