Trump at Rushmore: Masks optional

Photo by Perry Miller

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — When President Donald Trump speaks at the Mount Rushmore national memorial before the first fireworks show there in years, he’ll stand before a crowd of thousands of people who won’t be required to socially distance or wear masks despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday night’s event will feature a patriotic display at a monument known as “the Shrine of Democracy.”

Many in the region also remain loyal to Trump. But the celebration has also sparked controversy and concern. Public health experts are warning of the risk that it could help the coronavirus to spread. And others say the fireworks will put the forest around the monument at risk to wildfires.