Despite a surge in coronavirus cases across the country, President Donald Trump's Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore on Friday will continue as planned, spurring controversy on social media. Less than a month after his Tulsa, Oklahoma rally, which itself has been tied to a number of confirmed coronavirus cases, the president and an estimated 7,500 other spectators will head to the granite monolith in the Black Hills of western South Dakota.
Those in attendance will be treated to fireworks show over the 60-foot-tall carvings of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, something that hasn't been done in a decade due to fears of wildfires. Wildfires, however, are proving to be a minor concern in comparison to other worries. According to NPR, despite South Dakota ranking 11th among the 34 states considered by the Harvard Global Health Institute to be prone to "potential community spread," those attending the spectacle will not be required to wear face masks or practice social distancing, with South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem stating that "those folks that have concerns" can simply choose to "stay home."
The decision to follow through with the event, including the hazardous fireworks show, is now at the center of controversy. Across social media, people are criticizing the decision, citing concerns that the event is a threat to public health. Scroll down to see the discussions taking place.
So spreading wildfires and a pandemic all for a few moments to stroke his fragile ego... he's like all the biblical plagues rolled into one.— M.D. Lafrance (@MD_Lafrance) July 2, 2020
4th of July hasn't been celebrated with fireworks for years because of fire hazard in Black Hills National Forest.
Trump doesn't care, he wants to honor himself.— The Rube Report (@GuadalahonkyToo) July 2, 2020
This kind of thing is just so mind boggling. I will always wish we had had a REAL leader here in the U.S. for this awful pandemic and not someone who provided nothing but indifference & is now seemingly doing everything in his power to just make things worse than they need to be.— (((Cookie Davidsen))) (@CookieD426) June 30, 2020
There should not be a July 4th celebration in the middle of this pandemic. Masks must be mandatory nationwide to slow the spread of the virus.— Barbara Schmidt (@MamatagsBarbara) June 30, 2020
What's sad about this they will spread it to the people who have been trying to follow guidelines & stay safe from becoming infected.— 🦋 Sheila 🦋 (@sdr_medco) June 30, 2020
No mask, big groups and now fireworks to burn the place down. Some leader.— TWH (@Twh1959Todd) July 2, 2020
Considering how Mount Rushmore is actually on stolen land and is in the middle of a vast forest and it’s been a dry summer. Fireworks show on stolen Indian land at monument to slave owning and Indian hating presidents. Not great.— #Biden2020 #BLM (@RudigerPJones) July 1, 2020
At this point nobody will convince me that trump is not intentionally trying to murder people.— Sha Sha (@francescatututu) July 1, 2020
Just plain ignorance. Trump doesn’t care who gets covid19. He doesn’t care about anyone except himself. He’s a menace to society! #SociopathTrump— Mrs.Rice (@srlookout) June 30, 2020
Anyone that attends is putting their health in jeopardy as well as anyone else they know.— booklady2002 (@booklady2002) July 1, 2020
Damn. I didnt have Trump literally burning Mount Rushmore on my 2020 bingo card.— Mid Aged Honesty (@AgedMid) July 2, 2020
So, we’ll all see the spike in South Dakota about 07/18/20.— John Cherepski (@JCherepski) June 30, 2020
I can’t think of a better example of Darwinism than Trump voters refusing to wear masks and social distance.— Alysha Turcotte (@AlyshaTurcott13) June 30, 2020
and the next day these folks will be working in your nursing homes, daycare centers, grocery stores and so on. So, truth is it isn’t just about them.— Lu Ann Shotter (@lashotter) June 30, 2020