Despite the socially-distanced reality we’ve found ourselves in, President Donald Trump still wants to organize another Fourth of July extravaganza in downtown D.C.
In a White House briefing on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) last week, Trump said that “on July 4th, we’ll be doing what we had at the Mall, as you know. We're going to be doing it.”
He later added that they would “probably have 25% of what we had last year.”
“This year, most likely, we’ll be standing six feet apart. We’ll have to do that in a very, very interesting way,” Trump said. “And maybe we’ll even do it greater, so we’ll leave a little extra distance. But if we do that, we’d certainly do that.”
The 2019 “Salute to America” celebration, which put military hardware on display and included a flyover from the Navy's Blue Angels, drew thousands; Trump said in the briefing that there were “tens of thousands” of people present. It's unclear how social distancing would be enforced if the event were held.
Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the health officials on the White House's coronavirus task force, said recently on NBC's Meet the Press that social distancing “will be with us through the summer to really ensure that we protect one another.”
Capt. Brook DeWalt, a Pentagon spokesman, said he was not aware of any requests from the White House regarding the event as of Wednesday. The White House has not yet responded to request for comment.
On Tuesday, the U.S. surpassed 1 million cases of COVID-19, according to the Washington Post; almost 58,000 people have died.