Even though the coronavirus pandemic still looms across the country, President Donald Trump will reportedly forge ahead with his Independence Day party at the White House. As USA Today noted, Trump's July 4th party will take place as scheduled, even though public health officials have raised concerns about the affair. This event will take place a day after the president attended an Independence Day celebration near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, which did not feature guests adhering to social distancing guidelines.
USA Today reported that this year's Fourth of July party at the White House would be scaled back just a bit. Unlike last year, there will not be armored military vehicles on display at Lincoln Memorial. Although, the White House does still plan to host hundreds of people on the South Lawn for music and fireworks. Due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, the White House will encourage those in attendance to adhere to necessary safety measures. The White House has also said that it will provide face masks and hand sanitizer to guests who do come to the event.
Even though the White House does plan to take these precautions, some lawmakers have still voiced their concerns over the event. Rep. Don Breyer, a Democrat from Virginia whose district includes the suburbs of Washington D.C., criticized the president's Independence Day party. He said, "The President, as he has since February, continues to insist that the virus will simply disappear, and the Administration's response continues to be guided by wishful thinking." Breyer also accused Trump of "using the military to stage yet another costly political photo op." The representative added that the president's approach is "not a strategy for ending a pandemic."
A day before this Independence Day event, someone close to the Trump family has tested positive for the coronavirus. Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. as well as a top official for the Trump campaign, tested positive for the coronavirus shortly before the president's holiday event in South Dakota. As a result of her positive coronavirus test, she did not appear at the event. Trump Jr. reportedly tested negative for the coronavirus. Neither Guilfoyle nor Trump Jr. have been in direct contact with the president. However, both Guilfoyle and Trump Jr. have been on the campaign trail in recent weeks for the Trump campaign, as they were even seen at several events in the past week in the upper Plains region.