Final 12 months’s July Fourth celebration on the Nationwide Mall with headliner Donald Trump cost American taxpayers twice as much as comparable occasions did in earlier years, based on a report by the Government Accountability Office.
The occasion racked up $13 million in prices, in comparison with totals between $6 million and $7 million within the three earlier years.
This 12 months, Trump’s celebration shall be held on the South Garden of the White Home with a speech and a fireworks display over the National Mall. Some 1,700 service members may even participate in his “2020 Salute to America.”
The Protection Division will present “aerial, musical and ceremonial assist to this 12 months’s celebration in Washington, D.C. … Help may even embody a flyover of the Mount Rushmore Nationwide Memorial, in addition to an aerial salute to a number of cities that performed roles within the American Revolution,” it mentioned in a statement Saturday that didn’t point out prices.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser requested residents not to attend the White House festivities and as an alternative observe the vacation in place to assist forestall any surge in new COVID-19 instances.
“Our sturdy suggestion is that D.C. residents rejoice at or close to their residence, in small gatherings,” she mentioned Thursday.
The additional funds final 12 months went to pay for heightened safety, further program manufacturing prices and the transportation of army tanks to the Mall, based on the GAO report.
Trump’s look on the celebration was highly controversial, as a result of the occasion is meant to be a nonpartisan celebration, not a promotional occasion for the president, who doesn’t sometimes attend. Final 12 months, Trump not solely delivered a speech however included much more army would possibly than is customary.
Regardless of document numbers of COVID-19 instances and well being specialists’ recommendation to keep away from crowds, Trump determined to go forward with this 12 months’s occasion, reportedly in opposition to aides’ recommendation.
Trump additionally plans to attend a fireworks show July three at Mount Rushmore, the place officers are involved concerning the risk of wildfires sparked by the display. A 150-acre wildfire was burning Thursday roughly 6 miles south of Mount Rushmore in Custer State Park in South Dakota.
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