(CNN Newsource) – It’s a holiday that celebrates life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but on this Fourth of July, those ideals are being put to the test by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With new cases rising in at least 36 states, hospitals in some of the hardest hit areas are struggling to keep up.
“Our ICUs throughout the city and the county are really becoming saturated and at this pace, if it doesn’t stop, we are going to be in trouble,” Dr. Brad Spellberg, Chief Medical Officer LA County & USC Medical Center said.
Health experts worry the holiday weekend could add fuel to the fire.
“We are setting records, multiple records this week for new cases,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, Former U.S. Surgeon General said. “But i fear that this could, in fact, get worse.”
Despite the crisis, President Trump is celebrating at Mount Rushmore. The 7,500-person event will not have social distancing, which experts say poses health risks for everyone, including the president himself.
“Two of the four faces, Washington and Jefferson, on Mt. Rushmore, got smallpox,” Dr. Larry Brilliant, epidemiologist, said. “No one is immune to a novel virus which has never hit us before.”
The faces on Mt. Rushmore also remind us of another issue Americans are grappling with this Independence Day: racism.
“There’s no question that Washington and Jefferson and all of our leaders have disappointed us,” Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian, said.
Americans are also struggling with what it means to be black in America.
“I think it’s fair to sometimes question whether America loves African Americans as much as we love it,” Jesse Holland, author of “The Invisibles” said.
The recent course of human events are leading to an Independence Day for the history books.