UNITED STATES 4TH JULY CELEBRATIONS

Trump to go ahead with 4th July event despite Covid-19 concerns

US President Donald Trump has announced that he will host the 2020 Independence Day Salute to America despite concerns about coronavirus and social distancing.

Trump to go ahead with 4th July event despite Covid-19 concerns
ERIN SCOTT REUTERS

US President Donald Trump has announced that he will host the 2020 Independence Day Salute to America despite concerns the event could expose attendees to coronavirus. On Friday, the White House issued a statement confirming that the event will go ahead as planned.

White House statement on 4th July celebrations

“President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, along with the Department of Interior, will host the 2020 Salute to America on the South Lawn of the White House and Ellipse on Saturday, July 4. In addition to music, military demonstrations, and flyovers to honor our Nation’s service members and veterans, the President will deliver remarks that celebrate our independence and salute our amazing heritage. The evening will culminate with a spectacular fireworks display over the National Mall”.

Congressmen oppose military parade in Washington DC

However, several groups have voiced concern about decision to go ahead with the 4th July parade, which will draw a large crowd at the Lincoln Memorial, when the country is still battling a serious coronavirus problem*. Last month, members of Congress representing the National Capital Region wrote a letter to Secretaries of Defense and the Interior to express their “strong opposition” to Trump’s plans to hold a second military parade in Washington D.C. They claim staging a such a large-scale event risks triggering more Covid-19 infections in the country with the highest number of cases and deaths during the pandemic.

“We write to express our serious concern about reports that President Trump plans to hold a second ‘Salute to America’ for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans. Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic.

“The National Capital Region is currently experiencing some of the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home orders are in effect in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, with confirmed cases and deaths in many jurisdictions still on the rise. While we remain optimistic that these precautions, in addition to increased diagnostic and antibody testing capacity, will lead to decreased numbers in cases and deaths, it is likely that many businesses will remain closed and public gatherings will continue with restriction into the summer months.…

“Given the number of individuals that would try to attend such an event, logistically such an event would be impossible to put on safely.”

Fourth of July celebrations will attract thousands to the National Mall

There are no official attendance figures for the 2019 4th July celebrations, which attracted thousands of people to Washington, D.C., and the National Mall.

*Current figures from John Hopkins University show the United States have 2,222,576 confirmed positive Covid-19 cases while 119,131 people have died of the virus in the country.