President Donald Trump on Friday will kick off his July Fourth celebrations with a trip to Mount Rushmore… despite concerns about a large gathering and criticism from Native Americans about the visit.
(TRUMP): “We're gonna have a tremendous evening. It's going to be a fireworks display like few people have seen. It's going to be very exciting, is going to be beautiful."
Those fireworks are expected to draw thousands of people to the South Dakota landmark at a time when top health officials are urging social distancing.
Masks will be available but not required at the outdoor event.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem - a Republican - told Fox News earlier this week that those who had concerns could stay home and said "we won't be social distancing."
The former superintendent of the Memorial berated Trump for defying social distancing guidelines… and warned the event carried risks of triggering wildfires and contaminating groundwater.
The site has not had fireworks since 2009 because of environmental concerns.
Native Americans, who reportedly plan to protest during the trip, have also criticized Trump's visit for increasing the risk of spreading the virus and for celebrating U.S. independence in an area that is sacred to them.