Trump calls for patriotism on Independence Day

President Donald Trump watches as planes perform fly-overs of the Mount Rushmore National Monument on Friday

While criticism mounted over his handling of the pandemic, Trump said China must be "held accountable" for failing to contain the disease.

Protesters raise their fists during a small rally against racism in the United States next to the Washington Memorial in Washington, DC, on July 4, 2020, ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.

"Their goal is demolition", he declared. "We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters", Trump said. Crowds on the Mall were light Saturday as officials urged social distancing, TV station WTOP reported. "We got hit with this bad plague from China", he said, "and now we are getting close to fighting our way out of it". In fact, many US states marked a record number of new COVID-19 cases. Florida, where the outbreak is especially acute, saw 11,458 new cases. We've made a lot of progress.

Trump plans to take in Saturday's "Salute to America" in Washington, complete with military music and flyovers, from a White House balcony. The continuing protests were triggered by the death of a black man in police custody in May.

What else did Trump say?

He added that the United States was doing great before the Chinese virus, and now the U.S. is producing medical essentials like gowns, masks and surgical equipments, which were earlier made in foreign, mostly in China, from where this virus started.

Mr Trump, who faces re-election this year and appears keen to fire up his conservative base with appeals to nationalism, accused China of trying to hide the virus outbreak - a charge Beijing denies.

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In his speech, Trump said China's secrecy, deceptions, and cover-ups allowed it to spread all over the world.

A woman sits near her umbrella during a small rally against racism in the United States next to the Washington Memorial in Washington, DC, on July 4, 2020, ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.

Popular beaches on both coasts - normally packed on July 4th - were closed as California and Florida suffer alarming surges in COVID-19 infections.

Joe Biden, the Democratic Party rival to Mr Trump in this year's presidential election, tweeted that "this Fourth of July, one of the most patriotic things you can do is wear a mask".

Fireworks displays are typically a high point of the holiday, but an estimated 80 percent of the events, including in cities like Indianapolis, Atlanta and Nashville, have been canceled this year.

Anti-racism rallies were also held on Saturday in Washington and other United States cities.

Major League Baseball cancelled its 2020 All-Star Game for the first time since World War Two.

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