The White House is used to hosting different types of parties and get-togethers. These had taken a back seat over the last few months because of the pandemic. Donald Trump wanted to break the monotony by holding a party on the South Lawn on the occasion of the 4th of July. The result was a new lease of life to the White House, which had been on virtual lockdown since late March. It suddenly transformed into a hub of activity to cater to the guests who attended an invitation-only program.

The staff positioned the tables with seating arrangements such that there were four guests per table. There were provisions of eatables like hot dogs and hamburgers with nonalcoholic drinks.

White House social secretary Rickie Niceta was in-charge of the preparations. The arrangements no doubt raised many eyebrows, especially as the United States sees the loss of many lives due to coronavirus and an unprecedented spread of the disease. The advice of doctors was to ensure personal hygiene and social distancing in order to arrest the spread of the highly contagious disease.

CNN mentions about precautions against the pandemic. The waitstaff were directed to wear disposable rubber gloves. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised donning face masks which were to be continuously replaced with fresh ones.

An official for the White House confirmed this to a section of the media.

Trump wanted a new look 4th of July celebration

The guest list for the picnic in the White House included front-line workers and their families. There were also invitees from other professions like the medical staff, the military, as well as members of the Trump administration.

CNN adds that deputy press secretary Judd Deere said, "As President Trump has said, this year's Independence Day celebration will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending." Deere did not disclose the number of guests who would be there but he did mention flyovers of military aircraft along with fireworks as a part of the celebrations.

Incidentally, there seemed adequate protection at the White House with face masks, hand wipes, and sanitizer that were put into personal pouches for each guest. This might appear strange at the home of a President who has avoided wearing one of his own in front of the press but he has shown a slight change of heart. Donald Trump finally agreed to wear it to fight coronavirus.

Program of Trump at Mount Rushmore

Donald Trump accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump was present at another program at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

It involved a fireworks display where there was no compulsion of social distancing. CNN notes people thronged to the venue in large numbers and were sitting close together. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, had already indicated earlier that maintaining the guidelines of the CDC relating to social distancing at the program was not compulsory.

Donald Trump ignored objections of experts

According to the New York Times, President Trump had a busy weekend with 4th of July events. First, it was the Mount Rushmore program on Friday, then it was the White House on Saturday. He chose to ignore objections from his officials and those associated with public health on the subject of the spread of infection through the crowds.

When he walked out to the celebration at the White House, very few masks were visible among the guests. In the course of his address, he said - “We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms.” In view of the rising death toll in the country, local officials had advised the President against hosting a large gathering for Independence Day this year.

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