The country declared its independence on July 4, 1776, almost three centuries after Christopher Columbus' first journey to the Americas.
"We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues or erase our history [.] We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing", Trump said, addressing his audience on the nation's 244th birthday.
Speaking from the White House South Lawn on Saturday, Trump accused the "radical left" activists who have been targeting statues, mostly those of Confederate soldiers, of 'dishonoring their legacy'.
'Black folks are not free from the chains of oppression, so we don't get to truly celebrate Independence Day, ' said Kerrigan Williams, 22, one of the founders of the group, which will host a march and an arts demonstration on Saturday afternoon.
U.S. President Donald Trump has invited tens of thousands of guests to the National Mall in Washington D.C. for "the Salute for America" celebration party on July 4th, as 40 out of 50 U.S. states have reported a surge in COVID-19 cases on Friday.
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Trump went on to attack the media "who falsely and persistently label their opponents 'racist'". Trump did briefly thank those "working tirelessly to kill the virus" during his comments Friday.
"You should assume everyone around you is infectious", Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned. In Texas alone, 7,890 patients were hospitalized after 238 new admissions over the past 24 hours.
This year, the United States celebrates its Independence Day amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the impact of a massive anti-racism and anti-police-brutality movement spanning the entire country and raising many controversial issues.
The US virus death toll is fast approaching 130,000, roughly one-quarter the world's total.
In New York, once the epicentre, people were urged to avoid crowds and Nathan's Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest happened at an undisclosed location without spectators on hand, in advance of the evening's televised fireworks spectacular over the Empire State Building.
Bowser, who a year ago criticized Trump's amped-up Independence Day event as self-serving and costly, encouraged city residents to steer clear.
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Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser had tried to dissuade the Trump administration from holding the July 4th fireworks display over the National Mall and informed the Department of the Interior that it went against health officials' guidance amid the pandemic.
Health officials have been bracing for a new spike in virus cases after this weekend, which they see as a potential tipping point for more infections. "We will defend, protect, and preserve American way of life - which began in 1492 when Columbus discovered America", the president insisted, praising "American heroes" such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and many more.
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump plan to host events from the White House south lawn and from the Ellipse on Saturday, the day after President Trump attends a separate fireworks display and public gathering at Mount Rushmore. "We've learned how to put out the flame", he said.
Millions of Americans have been demonstrating against police brutality and racial inequality since the May killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
"I want people to stop calling us racists", Lee said.
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Despite fear of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Independence Day celebrations have seen no social distancing, although the White House noted that this year's commemoration would have "a different look".