WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again eager for the nation's capital to host a Fourth of July celebration, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“As President Trump has said, there will be an Independence Day celebration this year and it will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
Americans have “shown tremendous courage and spirit in the fight against this global pandemic just as our forefathers did in the fight to secure our independence, and both deserve celebration on America’s birthday this year,” Deere said.
The president last commented on the event on April 22, saying, “on July 4, we'll be doing what we had at the Mall, as you know. We're going to be doing it. Last year was a tremendous success, and I would imagine we'll do it — hopefully, I can use the term 'forever.'”
But D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signaled this week that the parade is canceled. She said at a press conference Tuesday that the city would not issue any permits for parades during phase one of the district's reopening, which is slated for Friday. For that first phase, she is still urging people to social distance and not to gather in groups of more than 10 people.
House Democrats representing districts in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. wrote to the secretaries of defense and the interior Tuesday opposing a parade, saying, “We believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans. Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic.”
Trump has said that he also plans to celebrate the summer holiday on July 3 with a fireworks display over Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.