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US marks polarized July 4 as Trump vows to defeat radical left protesters

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US President Donald Trump on Saturday vowed to defeat the “radical left” and downplayed Covid-19 risks, in an Independence Day speech at the White House that condemned recent protests against monuments to historical figures as attempts to destroy the United States.

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Trump watched paratroopers float to the ground in a tribute to America, greeted his audience of front-line medical workers and others central in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and opened up on those who “slander” him and disrespect the countrys past.

“We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and the people who, in many instances, have absolutely no clue what they are doing,” he said. “We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children.

“And we will defend, protect and preserve (the) American way of life, which began in 1492 when Columbus discovered America.”

Trump claimed without evidence that 99% of coronavirus cases in the United States were “totally harmless”. In fact, many states marked a record number of new Covid-19 cases. In Texas alone, 7,890 patients were hospitalized after 238 new admissions over the past 24 hours.

Trump, who has faced criticism over his handling of the pandemic, said China must be “held accountable” for failing to contain the disease.

Anti-racism protests contrast with official festivities on US Independence Day

The administration held a fireworks display over the National Mall as night fell after Trumps speech, despite Washington Mayor Muriel Bowsers warnings that the mass spectator event would defy health officials guidance during the pandemic.

Just steps from where Trump spoke, peaceful protesters marched down blocked-off streets around the White House, Black Lives Matter Plaza and the Lincoln Memorial. They were confronted by counter-protesters chanting, “USA! USA!” but there were no reports of violence.

Protests also took place Saturday in New York, Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Oakland and other cities. In Baltimore, protesters pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it into the citys Inner Harbor on Saturday night.

Millions of Americans have been demonstrating against police brutality and racial inequality since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. In addition to achieving police reforms in some cities, some protesters have removed Confederate statues and other symbols of Americas legacy of slavery.

“There have always been those who seek to lie about the past in order to gain power in the present, those that are lying about our history, those who want us to be ashamed of who we are,” Trump said on Saturday. “Their goal is demolition.”

Trumps Fourth of July remarks doubled down on his speech the previous evening at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota where he accused “angry mobs” of trying to erase history and painted himself as a bulwark against left-wing extremism.

Just months before Novembers presidential election, opinion polls in key states show Trump trailing his Democratic rival, former Vice President Read More – Source

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