Forget about coronavirus—Donald Trump is determined to repeat the political rally and ode to his own ego he staged in Washington, D.C., on the Fourth of July last year. That event featured all the military hardware Trump could demand, excluded regular people from the prime locations in favor of tickets for Trump’s allies, and forced the National Park Service to divert $2.5 million of funding intended for other purposes. Ridiculous and offensive at any time—but exponentially worse in the middle of a pandemic.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser threw cold water on the idea earlier in the week, saying the city would not be issuing permits for any parades during the first phase of reopening. This sets up a fight with the Trump administration, which is prepared to unleash an avalanche of BS to back up the demands of Trump’s ego.
Americans have “shown tremendous courage and spirit in the fight against this global pandemic just as our forefathers did in the fight to secure our independence, and both deserve celebration on America’s birthday this year,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
You know what would celebrate the courage and spirit of Americans in this fight? Not creating the conditions for another spike in infections. Let’s not forget the lessons of the World War I parade in Philadelphia that led to thousands of deaths from the Spanish flu within weeks.
Deere said this year’s celebration “will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending,” but apparently not different as in nonexistent, or even allowing the District to go back to its traditional, much cheaper Fourth of July celebration.