Trump decides to 'go big' for July 4 amid rising coronavirus cases

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 04, 2020, 06.55 PM(IST)

Donald Trump with wife at July 4 celebrations. Representative image. Photograph:( AFP )

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Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has made it clear that she has warned the federal government about the possible spread of the virus, but she cannot stop the event as it is happening on federal land, which is not in her jurisdiction.

As usual the US President Donald Trump has decided to go against the expert opinions and defy all health protocols issued by health experts regarding spread of the novel coronavirus.

The US is one of the worst affected countries by coronavirus in the world. Amid rising cases, health officials are urging Americans to stay indoors and celebrate America's Independence day, July 04, with close family and friends only.

However, Donald Trump has decided to once again ignore the warnings and is going big for what he is promising will be a "special evening" in the nation's capital.

Trump started his holiday weekend by travelling to Mt. Rushmore for a fireworks display near the iconic mountain carvings.

Also read: Trump blasts 'left wing cultural revolution'; rails against removal of statues at Mount Rushmore

Now, he will be attending his "Salute for America" celebration on Saturday with a speech from the South lawn of the White House. Trump believes this evening will be a celebration of the American heritage. The speech will be followed by an extravagant display of fireworks, which is expected to be attended by thousands of people at the National Mall.

This pre-planned event has attracted a lot of criticism as thousands gathered even at Mt. Rushmore gathering where he did not talk much about the pandemic and the South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem insisted social distancing wasn't necessary and masks were optional. 

While this has garnered a lot of criticism, it has not come as a surprise as Trump has been conducting his election rallies and all other social gatherings amid a surge in number of positive coronavirus cases.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has made it clear that she has warned the federal government about the possible spread of the virus, but she cannot stop the event as it is happening on federal land, which is not in her jurisdiction.

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Interior officials said they would hand out 300,000 face coverings to spectators who gather on the National Mall. Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt said visitors would be encouraged to wear masks and keep a six-foot distance from one another. However, this has not been made clear if these instructions will merely be suggestions or mandatory rules.

Health officials have warned against this gathering and have suggested cancelling it as they fear the event can spread the virus at a greater rate.

Majority of July 4 related events, including fireworks, parties and parades, have been cancelled in other parts of the country.

A country is always expected to follow their leader. However, the leader, in this case, has decided to lead his citizens astray.

(With inputs from agencies)