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Trump to host 4th of July event despite pleas from lawmakers to cancel

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE will host a Fourth of July event despite pleas from lawmakers to cancel over concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House announced Friday that Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Pelosi, Mnuchin push stimulus talks forward, McConnell applies brakes Melania Trump cancels campaign appearance over 'lingering cough' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by the Walton Family Foundation — DOJ to file antitrust suit against Google | Trump calls for Hunter Biden probe before Nov. 3 | Trump, Biden mics will have muting feature at Thursday debate | Pa. ballots to be counted MORE, with the Interior Department, will host the "2020 Salute to America" on the South Lawn of the White House and Ellipse on July 4.

The event will feature music, military demonstrations and flyovers to celebrate the nation’s service members and veterans, as well as an address from the president.

The event comes despite pushback from lawmakers that holding a mass gathering could put people at risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

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Ten lawmakers representing the National Capital Region sent a letter to the secretaries of the Defense and Interior on Tuesday expressing "serious concerns" about the possibility of a gathering sparking an outbreak, noting that stay-at-home orders in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland are still in effect.

"Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans," the lawmakers wrote. The letter was spearheaded by Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and signed by Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPelosi hopeful COVID-19 relief talks resume 'soon' Congress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out PPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  MORE (D-Md.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Democratic senators offer bill to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers MORE (D-Md.) and House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerTop Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate Trump orders aides to halt talks on COVID-19 relief This week: Coronavirus complicates Senate's Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Md.), among others. 

"Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic," they added.

Trump’s July Fourth celebration in 2019 attracted thousands of people to Washington, D.C., and the National Mall, and cost the government about $5 million.

The White House said in a statement Wednesday that "there will be an Independence Day celebration this year and it will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending."