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

President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' 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 TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive for coronavirus Trump's July 4 weekend comes with COVID-19 backdrop GOP senator blasts Washington officials, claims DC would not be a 'well-rounded working-class state' 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 CardinSenate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans 1,700 troops will support Trump 'Salute to America' celebrations July 4: Pentagon GOP lawmakers voice support for Israeli plan to annex areas in West Bank MORE (D-Md.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenSenate passes sanctions bill targeting China over Hong Kong law House passes bill to sanction Chinese banks over Hong Kong security law D.C.-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated MORE (D-Md.) and House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse to vote on removing bust of Supreme Court justice who wrote Dred Scott ruling Black Caucus unveils next steps to combat racism Democrats expect Russian bounties to be addressed in defense bill 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."