Donald Trump, 4th of July Fireworks, Mount Rushmore and a Pandemic: What could possibly go wrong?
today at 6:00 am
Fourth of July holiday. A weekend of celebration. People getting together in big crowds. Fireworks! Always a lot of fun! But in a pandemic? Maybe not quite as much fun?
The United States is the midst of its worst outbreaks of Covid-19. We’re seeing a run of more than fifty thousand new cases of the virus each day. It’s the most since the start of the pandemic three months ago. How is the president handling this? Let’s have a party!!
Tonight Donald Trump will be at Mount Rushmore. He’ll be leading a campaign rally that will be disguised as a supposed patriotic Independence Day event. Expected to join him are 7,500 loyal citizens. If you’ve been to Mount Rushmore, you know that it doesn’t have room for that many people. Even though they’ll be grouped into two separate areas, people are going to be jammed in together. There’s not a chance there will be anything close to social distancing….in a spiking pandemic. What could possibly go wrong?!
We’ve known Don isn’t concerned about the health and safety of the country’s citizens, but what makes this situation more dangerous is that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem doesn’t care either. Her spokesperson described the way she handled the pandemic in the state like this, “Gov. Noem is the only governor in the country who never mandated a single business or church to close, never ordered a shelter-in-place order for her citizens.” And doing nothing is also the way she’ll handle tonight at Mt. Rushmore. On Monday, she told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham:
“We will have a large event July 3rd; we told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home. “But those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks if they choose to wear one, but we won’t be social distancing.”
Wow! While people are becoming ill in record numbers, this was her response? Masks optional? What could possibly go wrong?
As if this isn’t enough, there’s now a threat of a wildfire because of the fireworks. Mount Rushmore used to have a yearly Fourth of July fireworks show, but according to the National Park Service, between 1998 and 2009, a minimum of twenty-seven wildfires were started in the area because of the fireworks. The shows were discontinued and it’s been ten years since the last one. Trump couldn’t understand the reasoning:
“What can burn? It’s stone. You know, it’s stone. It’s granite. So I called up our people. And within about 15 minutes, we got it approved.”
So in July, when the risk of fire in the Black Hills is at it’s highest; in the middle of what is considered a moderate drought; in the exact area where they have had more than two dozen fires because of fireworks, Donald Trump and his flunky South Dakota Governor decide to hold a rally with a fireworks show. What could possibly go wrong?
People are supposed to learn from their past. For Donald Trump, the lesson should have been the event in Tulsa just two weeks ago. A crowd of six thousand people were packed into an arena. There was very little social distancing. There was very little mask wearing. Since then, there’s been a spike in Tulsa’s Covid-19 case numbers that has been attributed to the rally. Trump supporter Herman Cain, who was shown at the rally smiling smugly without a mask, is now in an Atlanta hospital with the virus.
And now we’re going to try it again and hope that the results will be different? What could possibly go wrong?
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