(Washington) COVID Curfews – 19 in Florida, demonstrations against racism: the United States celebrates its national holiday on Saturday in a unique atmosphere and a tense climate.
France Media Agency
The July 4 festivities, traditionally marked by parades, marching bands, barbecues and large fireworks in a friendly atmosphere, have been reduced across the country.
A “tribute to the United States” will still be paid by President Donald Trump in the federal capital of Washington, starting from 18 h 40 local.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the National Mall, the huge esplanade where official museums and monuments stand and its surroundings will remain open and accessible to the public for a fireworks display announced as “monumental”.
An air parade of Second World War aircraft and a Blue Angels patrol show are expected, in a blazing sun.
For the occasion, the administration says that it has planned the distribution of 300 00 0 masks.
Donald Trump will speak from the White House at a ceremony to which Americans have been invited “on the front line” in the face of the pandemic, in particular from the world of health but also from the police and of the Army.
“Social distancing will be observed and masks and hand sanitizers will be distributed,” White House spokeswoman Judd Deere told AFP.
True to the message he has been hammering for several days, the republican billionaire once again ignored Saturday the resurgence of contamination that alarms the health authorities.
“We were struck by this terrible plague from China and now we are on the verge of getting out of it,” he said in a video message released in the middle of the day. “Our country is back, the employment figures are spectacular,” he said.
Florida case records
At the same time, Florida announced a new COVID case record – 19 at 11 458 over the last 24 hours.
Given the scale 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 and Nashville, concerts or fireworks have been canceled.
A virtual ceremony replaces the celebrations planned for the Texan city of Houston, the center of the epidemic in the great southern state.
The Independence Day celebrations, when in 1776 thirteen British colonies proclaimed their separation from the British crown and founded the United United States, may this year 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 the civil rights movement of the years 45.
Across the country, rallies are scheduled for justice, racial equality and against the Trump government.
In Washington, around twenty collectives called to demonstrate, especially 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.
Much of the city center was already cordoned off in the morning, AFP noted.
Democratic presidential candidate for November, Joe Biden called in a video message to unite to overcome “more 200 Years of systemic racism ”.
“Our country was founded on an idea, that we are all born equal. We have never lived up to this idea, “said former Barack Obama vice president.
Donald Trump, who is running for a second term, denounced Friday evening in a very dark speech “violent disorder” on the streets, and “years of extreme indoctrination in education, journalism and others cultural institutions. “
In the midst of a debate on the statues brought down by anti-racist demonstrators, he denounced, since the imposing monument of Mount Rushmore, “a campaign aimed at erasing our history, defaming our heroes, suppressing our values and indoctrinating our children ”.
In his speech, the tempestuous billionaire only briefly touched on the pandemic that caused almost 130 00 0 dead on American soil.