One day after Donald Trump's questionable event at Mount Rushmore, the first time in nearly a decade that fireworks were launched at the South Dakota monument, he then traveled back to Washington, D.C., for the celebration on the mall and another speech before the events.
While fears of the coronavirus preceded both events, many in the Nation's Capital heeded warnings and guidelines to wear masks, social distance and stay home from the event unlike those in South Dakota. A half-hour before the president spoke, the National Mall had fewer people than past years for the fireworks and had even more for Trump's speech that morphed into a campaign event out of the blue.
The National Mall minutes before the Salute to America flyover
Around half are wearing face coverings
Of the more than 300,000 free white cloth coverings on hand from the Trump administration, we’ve seen a little under two dozen wearing one pic.twitter.com/BNA6176Fau— Ken Duffy (@KenDuffyNews) July 4, 2020
WTOP's Ken Duffy reported that those on location weren't more than you'd see on an average day in Washington, D.C., and were smaller than we've seen in past July 4th celebrations.
"I was definitely expecting to see some more people just because of the other events I've been to down here before," attendee William Klein told the outlet just before 6 p.m. "But it is early, so maybe they'll be more later on."
The Park Service had around 300,000 masks on hand to give out to attendees, with Duffy reporting that they had only gone through eight boxes, with five coverings per pack. CNN coverage also showed thin crowds for the speech, with some showing up later when the fireworks began.
Trump's July 4 message to the nation: "We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing." pic.twitter.com/zh7wPYmT3z— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 4, 2020
Many took to social media to share their own first-hand experiences, while others just wanted to joke around about the poor turnout for the president's speech. While it was another highly divisive speech and earned plenty of criticism, the true eyes might be on Trump's ability to bring people out. The luster has seemed to wear off for many.
Huge crowd on the National Mall for Trump's firework display. Hard to social distance. pic.twitter.com/pf31QFUlNn— NutsNut (@NutsNut2) July 4, 2020
Aerial right now of National Mall- there’s NO ONE there for Trump’s big 4th of July extravaganza. Another bomb, just like his Tulsa rally. pic.twitter.com/D8oehrwMRy— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) July 4, 2020
I lived in DC for years....that tiny crowd is shocking. Never on the 4th of July. Jaw dropping.— SLY (@sioux1122) July 4, 2020
I mean, you’re talking about like .000000000000000001% of the population.... but glad you’re on top of the real issues, sport. https://t.co/WHnucr7JHq— A.J. Delgado (@AJDelgado13) July 4, 2020