United States President Donald Trump has vowed to defeat the “radical left” in a July Fourth Independence Day speech at the White House, condemning recent efforts to remove or rethink monuments to historical figures as attempts to destroy the US.
Trump claimed without evidence that 99 percent of the coronavirus cases within the US was “totally harmless”. In fact, many US states marked a record number of latest COVID-19 cases in recent days. In Texas alone, 7,890 patients were hospitalized after 238 new admissions over the past 24 hours.
According to reports on Saturday, the states of Texas and Florida alone accounted for almost 20,000 new cases of infections in one just one day.
While criticism mounted over the president’s handling of the pandemic, Trump said China must be “held accountable” for failing to contain the disease.
Peaceful protesters involved racial equality just steps from where Trump spoke within the capital, Washington, DC, marching down blocked-off streets around the White House, Black Lives Matter Plaza, and therefore the Lincoln Memorial.
Trump blasts ‘left-wing cultural revolution’ at Rushmore
Millions of Americans are demonstrating against police brutality and racial inequality since the May killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
In addition to achieving police reforms in some cities, some protesters have removed Confederate statues and other symbols of America’s legacy of slavery.
“There have always been those that seek to lie around the past so as to realize the power within the present, people who are lying about our history, those that want us to be ashamed of who we are,” Trump said on Saturday. “Their goal is demolition.”
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Trump’s Fourth of July remarks doubled down on a Friday night speech at Rushmore in South Dakota where he accused “angry mobs” of trying to erase history and used the speech to color himself as a bulwark against left-wing extremism.
Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival within the November election, wrote a Fourth of July op-ed piece that struck a contrasting note with the Republican president and accused him of finding a day “new ways to tarnish and dismantle our democracy”.
In a separate letter to donors, Biden said: “We have an opportunity now to offer the marginalized, the demonized, the isolated, the oppressed, a full share of the American Dream .”
Biden also launched a replacement campaign commercial attacking Trump, posting on social media, “If you set the incorrect person in the office, you will see things that you simply wouldn’t have believed are possible.”
Trump, in his Saturday speech, also said the US would have a vaccine or therapeutic solution to the virus “long before” the top of 2020.
On Thursday, a top US health official said he was optimistic the Trump administration’s vaccine-acceleration program “Operation Warp Speed” will generate a secure and effective vaccine for COVID-19 by year-end.
The air show, fireworks
Saturday’s speech at the White House was capped off by fighter jet air shows and a fireworks display over the National Mall.
Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had tried to dissuade the Trump administration from holding the event because it went against health officials’ guidance during the pandemic.
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Apart from fireworks spectators, activists of various stripes also appeared willing to disregard the health warnings.
The roar of the Deplorables, a bikers group, said via social media that they planned to collect in Washington on Saturday to face in protest against what they call “the anti-Trump regime” and to celebrate the nation’s birthday.
Freedom Fighters DC, a replacement activist group that seeks to rally an ethnically diverse generation of supporters behind liberty for all people, especially the Black population of Washington, is one among the anti-racism groups ignoring the mayor’s heed to refrain from gathering.
“Black folks aren’t free from the chains of oppression, so we do not get to really celebrate Independence Day,” said Kerrigan Williams, 22, one among the founders of the group, which can host a march and an art demonstration on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re marching today to showcase that Black folks are still fighting for the straightforward liberties that the constitution is claimed to supply .”