July 4 celebrations: Trump pays visit to Mount Rushmore despite COVID-19 concerns, controversy
WASHINGTON (US) – Amid concerns about a large crowd gathering during the spread of novel coronavirus and criticism from Native Americans, US President Donald Trump will start his July Fourth celebrations by visiting Mount Rushmore on Friday.
The president is slated to view a fireworks display with thousands of onlookers at the landmark in South Dakota, which shows the images of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
Since 2009, there has not been fireworks display at the site due to environmental constraints. However, Trump advocated its resumption.
The event is slated to be Trump’s latest event with large crowds even as health experts warn of avoiding such gatherings to stem the spread of coronavirus. As many as 7,500 people are likely to expect the event.
The president has come under criticism for conducting large events with scant regard for social distancing in Oklahoma and Arizona recently.
Native Americans have criticised the celebration citing health risks and marking US independence on a site that is sacred to them.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field