RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - With President Donald Trump visiting the area to celebrate the Fourth of July, some local politicians are sharing their concerns about hosting a crowded event during the pandemic.
Meanwhile...In an interview with Fox News host Laura Inghram lst night, Governor Krist Noem made national headlines when she said about the celebration, QUOTE "We won't be social distancing."
"Minimum social distancing and wearing a face mask is a CDC recommended guideline and should be followed with respect to this event," said Randy Seiler, South Dakota Democratic party chairman.
South Dakota Democrats shared a press release Tuesday morning stating their concerns for Friday's event.
"I would say our concerns are four fold," said Seiler. "One, the risk of forest fires. Two, the potential damage to ground water and the environment. Three, the cost of 350,000 dollars which was ear marked for economic development and four, issues with respect to the pandemic, COVID-19."
Former republican senator Stan Adelstein said he's glad to see the fire works return but has concerns not only for environmental safety, but for the health of South Dakotans.
"Actually there are two issues, yes I have some concern. I also have a greater concern about thousands of people perspiring all day long with the different programs at the mountain from all over, with a deliberate abandoning the CDC recommendations," said Adelstein. "That's almost more concerning than the fireworks."
Seiler added that personal responsibility is important but that we should be thinking of those who don't have a choice when having this event.
"It's not a personal choice for our health care workers when the pandemic spreads. It's not a personal choice for those with underlying health conditions who may be infected because of people that were at Mount Rushmore," said Seiler. "It's not a personal choice for those people that have to be at Mount Rushmore and work."
Trump is set to arrive in Rapid City on Friday for the event.