President Trump will kick off his Independence Day weekend with remarks at Mount Rushmore on Friday evening. The event, which will include a display of fireworks, is expected to have a crowd of around 7,000.
However, the event has drawn concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, as several states have seen a serious uptick in cases in recent weeks. According to the Associated Press, social distancing will not be enforced at the event, and wearing a mask will be optional.
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The event is also expected to draw protesters dissatisfied with the administration's handling of Native American issues and upset the event is being held on land stolen from Native Americans. The Black Hills, where Mount Rushmore is located, was taken from the Lakota people in violation of treaty agreements.
Several tribes in the regions have also raised concerns about the event leading to an outbreak of the virus, as Native American communities have been particularly ravaged by COVID-19.
"The president is putting our tribal members at risk to stage a photo op at one of our most sacred sites," Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, told the Associated Press.
Others have raised concerns about the risk of fireworks leading to forest fires. This will be the first fireworks display at the national monument in 10 years, as the tradition was stopped by the National Park service after it was deemed to be a fire risk. That decision was reversed in April after an assessment determined the show could go on without major risk of fire and at the president's behest.
Arden Farhi and Alana Anyse contributed to this report.