WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump says he has deemed churches and other houses of worship ``essential'' and called on governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the threat of the coronavirus.

He says: ``Today I'm identifying houses of worship - churches, synagogues and mosques _ as essential places that provide essential services.''

Trump made the announcement during a hastily-arranged press conference Friday at the White House. He said if governors don't abide by his request, he will ``override'' them, though it's unclear what authority he has to do so.

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