The Fourth of July is traditionally for barbecues, fireworks, boisterous partying and various hijinks to celebrate Independence Day. But this year, with coronavirus cases soaring to all-time highs, medical experts warn that the normal US holiday exuberance could instead create infection “superspreader” events.
Across the country, thousands of official public celebrations have been canceled in an effort to prevent mass gatherings. Two notable exceptions are the fireworks planned by the Trump administration in the center of Washington, and an event on Friday night at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota where the president will attend a fireworks display.
This event has managed simultaneously to upset Native American leaders who consider the location stolen tribal land; irritate those worried about wildfires in the parched landscape, where fireworks have been banned in recent drought years; and further divide views on health precautions, with the Republican governor of South Dakota saying social distancing will not be enforced and anyone who doesn’t like that idea can “stay home”.