For Immediate Release: March 25, 2020
Contact: Center for Inquiry
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President Trump is recklessly putting the lives of Americans at risk by promising to end coronavirus prevention guidelines by Easter, said the Center for Inquiry, warning that the president is courting tragedy and disaster by ignoring science in order to appeal to religious sentiments and magical thinking.
In an interview with Fox News, President Trump said he was looking to reopen the economy to normal business by Easter Sunday, which falls this year on April 12. “And you will have packed churches all over our country,” he said. “I think it would be a beautiful time and it’s just about the timeline that I think is right.”
“There are no religious exemptions to a pandemic,” said Robyn Blumber, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “Viruses do not observe Christian holy days, nor is there any magical property to the calendar date of April 12 that would cause the coronavirus to suddenly subside. President Trump’s stated aim to revoke social-distancing guidelines in order to see ‘packed churches all over the country’ for Easter indicates that he is either delusional about the reality of the pandemic or indifferent to it.”
“This is incredibly simple: Public health decisions should never be made to accommodate religious belief, ritual, or observance even in the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic that has already caused the deaths of hundreds of Americans, and will likely kill thousands more,” said Blumner. “If the president gets his wish, he will multiply what is already a perilous situation into an utter calamity, and so that he can appear as the savior of one particular faith.”
“The tragic irony is that it would sacrifice the health and lives of those who believe in him. Followed by the rest of us.”