May 22, 2020

Sarah Clements, West End Strategy Team; Phone: 202.765.8584

Rabbi Jack Moline: Trump Order to Reopen Houses of Worship Nationwide ‘Flies in the Face of Medical and Scientific Advice’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to President Trump’s statement today ordering governors across the country to reopen houses of worship regardless of state-based safety measures in place, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:

The President is wrong, plain and simple. Ordering houses of worship to be opened without robust guidelines around necessary safety precautions flies in the face of medical and scientific advice – including advice originally administered by the CDC that the Trump White House suppressed for the sake of its cronies on the Religious Right.

Faith leaders have overwhelmingly affirmed their trust in the recommendations of the CDC and other medical authorities. Faith is essential and community is necessary; however, neither requires endangering the people who seek to participate in them. Protecting the most vulnerable among us is a value shared by every faith tradition.

The virus does not discriminate between types of gatherings, and neither should the president. As state leaders across the country evaluate the safest plans to reopen, particularly as we face the possibility of a deadly, more destructive second wave, it is completely irresponsible for the president to command a mass reopening of houses of worship. The illness and death that afflicts religious communities who follow the president’s dictates will be his responsibility.


Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit