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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem took a dig at the Biden administration for rejecting a plan to host a Fourth of July fireworks display at Mount Rushmore this year.
"It's a beautiful day. I really wish that we were able to have fireworks here this year, probably not gonna happen because of the Biden administration, but look at all the wonderful people still enjoying this monument to history," Noem said from Mount Rushmore in a video posted to Twitter.
Mount Rushmore held its first fireworks display since 2009 last year under former President Donald Trump, but the National Park Service declined to grant a permit to hold the fireworks again this year. The department cited the pandemic, wildfire risks, environmental factors, and a construction project at the site as reasons the display would not be allowed to move forward.
Noem later filed a lawsuit to challenge the decision.
"After telling us they’d ‘circle back,’ the Biden Administration has not responded to our request to uphold the Memorandum Agreement between the State of South Dakota and the National Parks Service to host a safe and responsible national celebration and fireworks show," Noem wrote.
The lawsuit was rejected by a federal judge, who said the administration was justified in its reasons for rejecting the permit. But the issue generated renewed controversy after the Biden administration announced plans to host a fireworks display at the White House, a decision Noem called hypocritical.
"What a hypocrite. President @JoeBiden wants 'a summer of freedom' where we 'mark independence from the virus by celebrating with events across the country,'" Noem tweeted after the announcement. "Translation: fireworks are fine at the White House, but not at Mount Rushmore."
The White House event is slated to host essential workers and military personnel while being billed as a celebration of the country’s progress in fighting COVID-19. More than 1,000 guests are expected at the White House event.
"We welcome you to join us by hosting your own events to honor our freedom, salute those who have been serving on the frontlines, and celebrate our progress in fighting this pandemic," the White House said.
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Original Author: Michael Lee