Viruses, protests, Donald Trump’s angry words cloud the American weekend of July 4

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Donald Trump denounced “violent chaos” in the American streets on the eve of independence day.

Washington, United States:

The United States celebrated an unusually dark independence day on Saturday as a record increase in the number of coronavirus cases, anti-racism protests and an angry speech by President Donald Trump casts a shadow over this. which is normally festive celebrations.

Popular beaches on both coasts – normally crowded on July 4 – have been closed because California and Florida are experiencing alarming outbreaks of COVID-19 infections, and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti warned residents of ” assume that everyone around you is contagious. “

Across the country, parades on Main Street were canceled, barbecues in the backyard reduced and family reunions postponed until the day that Americans generally celebrated their declaration of independence from 1776 from Great Britain.

But others, tired of blockages or simply rebels, continued as if the deadly pandemic was a thing of the past.

Florida on Saturday marked a new daily record of confirmed virus cases at 11,458 – far more than any other state. Miami Beach has imposed a curfew and made it mandatory to wear a mask in public, but some beaches in Florida have remained open.

Coney Island Beach in New York was also open and crowded, with few masks.

Mark Ruiz came with his wife and two children, although he is “definitely worried” about the virus.

“I can’t stay at home on July 4, I have to take my children out,” he told AFP. “We can’t be in a bubble all summer.”

Coney Island also hosted a special, socially distanced version of Nathan’s annual hot dog contest – won for the 13th year in a row by Joey Chestnut, who set a new world record by slaughtering 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Health officials are preparing for a new outbreak of virus after this weekend, which they see as a potential tipping point for more infections.

The number of deaths from the American virus is rapidly approaching 130,000, or about a quarter of the world total.

Fireworks canceled

Fireworks are usually a highlight of the holidays, but about 80% of the events have been canceled this year.

Local officials in Washington discouraged crowds on the National Mall for the capital’s fireworks displays.

The people were still there, some claiming that they were forced to be there at a time when the United States is struggling with the virus and experiencing a historic record of racism.

“It’s time for us to stop bragging about being super special, which the world should follow, we have to look inside to see what’s wrong with us. We never honestly asked ourselves about the breed in this country, “Mary, 54, Byrne told AFP.

Trump plans to take Saturday’s “Hi to America” ​​in Washington, DC, with military music and flyovers from a White House balcony.

He and his wife, Melania, posted a video message wishing the Americans “a very very happy July 4”.

The president was optimistic about the virus. “We were struck by this terrible plague from China,” he said, “and now we are about to get out of it.”

Trump’s speech at the Washington celebrations will pay tribute to healthcare workers, police and the military, White House spokesman Judd Deere told AFP.

Social distancing will be observed, he added.

“Violent chaos”

The night before, Trump spoke at Mount Rushmore, where he shattered the tradition of presidents delivering inspiring and unifying speeches on July 4 by going wild over protests that have erupted since unarmed African American George Floyd was killed by the police.

Faced with a tough re-election battle in November and eager to mobilize his political base, Trump denounced “violent chaos” in the American streets, although most of the protests were peaceful.

Its presidential challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, took a very different tone, tweeting on Saturday: “Our nation was founded on a simple idea: we are all created equal. We have never been up to par – but we never are never stopped This independence day, let’s not just celebrate these words, let’s finally commit to making them come true. “

Protests have continued in many cities in the United States since Floyd’s murder in May, and more than 20 took place Saturday in Washington.

Everything should be finished before the night is celebrated on the Mall, which should start at 6:40 p.m. (10:40 p.m. GMT).

(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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