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 celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit