President Trump is expected to deliver remarks at Mount Rushmore on Friday night at a celebration which is slated to include a fireworks display and military flyovers to kick off the July 4 weekend.
Friday night’s event will be hosted by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
NOEM SAYS 'WE WON'T BE SOCIAL DISTANCING' AT TRUMP MOUNT RUSHMORE EVENT
“The president looks forward to taking part in the Independence Day festivities, hosted by Governor Noem, and celebrating the greatest country the world has ever known capped off with a magnificent fireworks display above the great faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.
A spokesman from Noem’s office told Fox News that South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration will also include the Blue Angels, UH-60s from the South Dakota Army National Guard, F-16s from the South Dakota Air National Guard, and the Ellsworth Air Force Base B-1 bombers.
Earlier this week, Noem welcomed attendees to the event but said that they will not be expected to practice social distancing, even as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge across the country.
"We're asking them to come, be ready to celebrate, to enjoy the freedoms and the liberties that we have in this country," Noem told Fox News' “The Ingraham Angle.” "But we won't be social distancing.”
Noem said those with concerns about the event are welcome to "stay home" and added that face masks will be distributed to those who "choose to wear one.”
DETAILS OF DC'S FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS
Noem said residents who are conflicted about whether to attend the event should "focus on personal responsibility" and make a decision that "they're comfortable with.”
"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate America's birthday, to join together and have some unity, and really focus on opportunity in America," Noem said in response to the president's critics, "and perhaps that's what they don't want to talk about.”
Meanwhile, the Trump administration will host Independence Day celebrations on Saturday in Washington, D.C., which will include a “monumental” fireworks display.
The Interior Department, though, urged onlookers to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including practicing social distancing, wearing a mask or face covering, and avoiding public events if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
The agency also said it would supply more than 300,000 cloth face coverings and distribute them to visitors attending the celebrations at the National Mall. The department said, however, that the face coverings are “not surgical masks or respirators,” and warned that “supplies are limited” and “visitors should not rely upon receiving a mask.”