Trump Says He Wants to Open Country on Easter So He Can ‘Pack the Churches’ Full of People
Donald Trump said on Tuesday he hoped to have the country “back to work” by Easter, setting the most concrete deadline yet as his attention turns from stopping the onslaught of the coronavirus and toward restarting the ailing U.S. economy.
He received immediate pushback and hedging from some of his advisers — including Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and even Vice President Mike Pence — after making the statement during a Fox News town hall.
“I’d love to have it open by Easter,” Trump said. “I would love to have that. It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’ll make it an important day for this too. I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” Easter falls on April 12 this year.
Then in an interview on Fox News later Tuesday afternoon, Trump said, Easter “is a very special day for me,” and that it would be “great to have all of the churches full.”
“So, I think Easter Sunday, and you will have packed churches all over our country. I think it would be a beautiful time and it’s just about the timeline that I think is right,” he later added. He said he isn’t “sure” that would be the official deadline.
PACKED CHURCHES!! Filled with people. Often older people.
God help us. And btw, you can worship from home.
The President says he wants to reopen the country on Easter Sunday to pack the churches pic.twitter.com/FPT3mxiP2D
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) March 24, 2020
Twitter was ENRAGED:
This man is completely insane if he thinks I am going to endanger my congregation for his ridiculous economic plans… I would rather close the doors of the church permanently than risk our parishioner's lives https://t.co/OhVFW2qKB6
— DeepBlue✝️🧷 (@pastor_bd) March 24, 2020
If you wanted to pick a day to kill a huge chunk of the population with a contagion, Easter Sunday would be a great choice. #BloodySunday
Trump is a domestic terrorist. https://t.co/pjN3lulCsC
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) March 24, 2020
This comment reveals that the president doesn't have a clue how public health crises work. He think it'll be a good idea for churches to be packed in 16 days. It's absurdly irresponsible. https://t.co/qFPwgfALux
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2020
I mean isn't this what the Antichrist *would* say, knowing that to pack those churches was to doom untold lives? "Make a big public show of believing me, ignore the truth! And if I'm wrong and people die? They die." https://t.co/v9Raesg261
— 🆘Rev Magdalen |This Machine Dismantles Patriarchy (@revmagdalen) March 24, 2020
Ask him what Easter is meant to celebrate. I would bet every penny I’m worth that he doesn’t know. https://t.co/U7gbwWBwIW
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) March 24, 2020
"Packed churches" is exactly what we don't want if we're trying to save lives. Listen to medical experts. Stay home. https://t.co/JkDZ2MDHO4
— American Atheists (@AmericanAtheist) March 24, 2020