The United States marked a moderate July 4 party with social distancing and crowd restrictions that prevent typical gatherings and fireworks amid a surge in coronavirus infections in the southern and western states.
Racial justice protests were also planned in the U.S. capital on Saturday, where President Donald Trump is set to deliver a speech on the National Mall.
Trump promised a “special night” that could draw tens of thousands of viewers, despite warnings of the dangers of spreading the virus from Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has no power over the event on federal land. .
Saturday’s commemoration of the United States of Great Britain declaration of independence began on a grim note, with Florida and Texas registering their new highest daily infections, 11,458 and 8,258. in a 24-hour period, respectively, since the outbreak of coronavirus began in the United States.
To date, nearly 130,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the country, amid 2.8 million infections, the highest number of deaths and infections in the world.
On Friday, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alaska, Missouri, Idaho and Alabama posted daily highs for new cases, while Texas reached a new peak for virus-related hospitalizations.
The beaches, normally crowded during the holiday weekend, were closed on both coasts, and Florida’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, closed the sand and imposed a curfew on residents.
Meanwhile, in California, beach closings went from Los Angeles County north through Ventura and Santa Barbara. To the south in Orange County, very popular beaches like Huntington and Newport were closed.
Fireworks, canceled events
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that mass meetings, such as the one scheduled by the president, present a high risk of spreading the virus.
On Friday, during Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore, Republican Governor Kristi Noem, an ally of the President, insisted that social distancing was not necessary and that masks were optional.
On Saturday, authorities said they would deliver 300,000 facial covers to spectators who gather at the National Mall. While Secretary of the Interior Department David Bernhardt said that visitors would be encouraged to wear masks and keep a distance of two meters (6 feet) from each other, there was no indication that it was mandatory.
In a mosaic of restrictions across the country, parades were canceled, bustling backyard barbecues were cut, and family gatherings were postponed amid concerns about air travel and concerns about the spread of the virus.
In New York City, Nathan’s famous annual hot dog food contest, which normally takes place on the busy Coney Island boardwalk, took place indoors without spectators and with special precautions for officials and workers.
Meanwhile, fireworks displays, a mainstay of the vacation that generally draws crowds of thousands of people in locations across the country, have been suspended this year, with an estimated 80 percent of those events canceled.
Other locals urged people to look at the screens from their cars.
Saturday also comes amid a surge of racial unrest in the country following the murder of George Floyd after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minnesota on May 25.
Since then, protests have become a regular feature in many American cities, with several planned in the U.S. capital.
Saturday’s largest protests are expected to include a George Floyd memorial march starting at the Lincoln Memorial, a Black Out march at the United States Capitol, and a Black Lives Matter protest at the National Museum of History and Culture. African American.
Public health officials have been preparing for a further surge in coronavirus cases after the celebrations and protests this weekend.