Thousands of Americans hit beaches, boardwalks, lakes and pool parties over the Memorial Day break, forgoing social distancing rules to celebrate the first long weekend since the pandemic hit the United States.Gatherings to remember US soldiers that died in service rivaled memorials for those lost to the coronavirus. Nearly 100,000 people have died, more than the number of Americans killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars combined. A maskless President Donald Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony, and attended an event at Fort Henry in Baltimore, where he spoke of the fight against Covid-19 in military terms: “Together, we will vanquish the virus and America will rise from this crisis to new and greater heights.” But, on the unofficial start to summer, it looked like many Americans had forgotten about the dangers of the virus, wearing little but sunscreen and shades to protect themselves. Asked why they were forgoing precautions, one beachgoer in Alabama invoked Trump: “If he’s not wearing a mask, I’m not gonna wear a mask. If he’s not worried, I’m not worried.” Alabama is one of 18 states where coronavirus cases are on the rise.
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