The Governor of South Dakota has said there will be no social distancing at an upcoming Independence Day event. She also said masks will not be required at the celebration.
President Donald Trump is due to attend the event marking America’s independence at Mount Rushmore on 3 July. Republican Governor Kristi Noem told Fox News on Monday there would be no social distancing requirements.
“We will have a large event at July 3,”Noem told Fox’s Laura Ingraham
“We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one.”
“But we will not be social distancing,” she said.
The Governor explained that her state was encouraging people to “focus on personal responsibility” in the face of a global pandemic that has killed more than 125,000 Americans.
“Every one of them has the opportunity to make a decision that they’re comfortable with,” Noem said.
Official information about the Mount Rushmore celebration says “attendance will be limited.” The state allocated tickets using an online lottery. Attendance is limited to around 7,500.
President Trump has refused to wear a mask in public, though Vice President Mike Pence recently did so. The President has begun holding campaign rallies again despite the virus.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media