Under the fire of criticism for his silence on the alarming figures of the COVID-19 in the United States, Donald Trump goes Friday at mount Rushmore for an evening of fireworks that he hoped to be a moment of unity in a country that it is difficult to gather.
On the eve of the national holiday of July 4, the republican president will speak under the eyes of four of its distant predecessors — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln — whose monumental heads were carved into the granite under the imposing memorial.
The billionaire republican, which makes mine for several days to ignore the spectacular rebound of the epidemic that blights the summer of Us, does not hide his enthusiasm for this event, for which about 7,500 people are expected to attend.
“This is going to be an extraordinary evening, with fireworks as a few people have seen”, he predicted on Thursday. “This is going to be beautiful!”
Will discuss the resurgence of cases of the COVID-19 in the south and the west, which “puts the country in danger”, in the words of Anthony Fauci, director of the american Institute of infectious diseases? Will there be finally a mask in public to set an example as the claim number of elected officials and personalities, including in his own camp?
In a very bad position in the polls with four months to the day of the presidential election, the billionaire republican stands for the time of a single message, unchanged: the crisis of the coronavirus is “managed” the u.s. economy leaves “harder and faster” than expected and the year 2021 will be “historic”.
However, in a sharp contrast with Europe, records of contamination are beaten on a daily basis in the United States.
At least 53 069 new infections with the coronavirus have been recorded Thursday within 24 hours, according to the counting of the Johns Hopkins university, in which reference is made, a record level since the beginning of the pandemic.
This brings to more than $ 2.7 million the total number of cases detected in the country and 128 677 the number of deaths recorded since the beginning of the global health crisis.
Number of States have implemented the déconfinement on break, or even backtracked, closing at the forward bars and beaches. The republican governor of Texas has announced that wearing a mask would now be mandatory in public places.
“No social distancing”
The tenant of the White House can expect a warm welcome in South Dakota, a State with very few people that he won it in 2016 with more than 60% of the vote.
And the governor-republican Kristi Noem does not intend to spoil the party.
“We have said to those who are worried that they can stay at home,” she explained on Fox News. “For those who want to join us, we will distribute masks free of charge, if they decide to wear one. But there will be no social distancing.”
The last president that went to mount Rushmore was George W. Bush, in 2002. Donald Trump evokes, for him, for a long time his fascination for this site carved from 1927 to 1941 in the mountainous chain of the Black Hills.
In 2017, it was even mentioned, jokingly, the possibility that his face is added a day.
Beyond any political considerations, it is unlikely that this would ever happen.
“From time to time, individuals or organizations that propose to add new busts […], but this is not possible “, explains to the AFP Dana Soehn, spokesperson for the national park.
“The rock that is located around of the faces [of the presidents] does not allow the sculpture “additional,” she says, recalling that the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum wanted to represent the ideals of the first 150 years of american history — birth, growth, development, preservation — and that his work is therefore completed.
The Lincoln Project, a group formed by republicans fiercely anti-Trump, also grabbed the folder in his way.
In a clip aired on the eve of the move controversial, it has highlighted a few sentences, famous handed down by Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln to insist on the indelible mark that they have left. And to better mark the contrast with what they believe to be “the worst president” in history.