(Washington) US President Donald Trump marked the national holiday on Saturday with a campaign gathering speech in a divided America, against a backdrop of renewed COVID – 19 and demonstrations against racism.
Jerome CARTILLIER and Camille CAMDESSUS
France Media Agency
The July 4 festivities, traditionally marked by parades, marching bands, barbecues and large fireworks in a friendly atmosphere have been revised down this year across the United States due to the pandemic .
“We are defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators and the plunderers,” said Donald Trump during a ceremony in the gardens of the White House.
Far from a traditionally unifying tone of presidential speeches of the “4th of July”, the republican billionaire also attacked the media “who wrongly accuse their opponents of being racist”.
“The more you lie, the more you slander […] the more we will work to tell the truth, and we will win,” he said, four months before the presidential election.
The White House tenant also virulently attacked China, where the new coronavirus came from, reaffirming that it should “be held accountable”.
True to the message he has been hammering for several days, Donald Trump once again downplayed the significance of the spectacular increase in the number of COVID cases – 19 which alarms the health authorities.
“We have made a lot of progress. Our strategy is working well, “he said, hammering home his belief that treatment and / or a vaccine would likely be available” well before the end of the year. ”
A few hours earlier, Florida had announced a new COVID case record – 19 at 11 458 over the last 24 hours.
Given the magnitude of the health crisis, the mayor of the county of Miami-Wade, the most populous in the country with nearly 2.7 million inhabitants, on Friday decreed a curfew starting from 22 h local.
It “is intended to prevent people from going out and hanging out with friends in groups, which has proven to be a factor in the rapid spread of the virus,” said Carlos Gimenez.
In Atlanta, Nashville, concerts or fireworks have been canceled. In the Texan city of Houston, home of the epidemic in the great state of the South, July 4 is celebrated online.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the National Mall, the huge esplanade where official museums and monuments stand and its surroundings have remained open and accessible to the public for a fireworks display announced as “monumental”.
The virulent presidential speech was followed by an aerial parade of World War II aircraft and a Blue Angels patrol show.
Independence Day celebrations, when in 1776 thirteen British colonies proclaimed their separation from the British crown and founded the United States of America, this year may have a bitter taste.
America has been animated since the death of the African-American George Floyd, by a historic movement against racism, comparable to that of civil rights of the years 60.
Across the country, rallies are scheduled for justice, racial equality and against the Trump government.
In Washington, around twenty collectives called to demonstrate, notably in front of the monument in memory of Abraham Lincoln, from which Martin Luther King had given his speech “I have a dream”, in 1963.
“We want to let the world know, and not just in the United States, that we are worth no less than the others,” says Katima McMillan, African-American from 24 years.
“Our country was founded on an idea, that we are all born equal. We have never lived up to this idea, “said Joe Biden, presidential candidate for November, Saturday. Former Vice President of Barack Obama Called to Unite to Overcome “Over 200 years of systemic racism ”.
In the middle of a debate on the statues brought down by anti-racist demonstrators, Mr. Trump had already denounced Friday evening, since the imposing monument of Mount Rushmore, “a campaign aimed at erasing our history, defaming our heroes, suppress our values and indoctrinate our children ”.