Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., told Newsmax TV on Tuesday that President Joe Biden "is making a terrible decision" in not allowing a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on the Fourth of July.
"President Biden is making a terrible decision here," Johnson told "The National Report." "There isn't a lot that all of America agrees on these days, but you could get most of us behind the idea of blowing stuff up in the air before ... Mount Rushmore."
He added, "The president's team has said they don't want fireworks for two reasons. No. 1: [COVID-19]. No. 2: drought. I would tell you, it can get dry in the Black Hills but we don't know how much it's going to rain between now and July 4th, so that seems like a dodge on their part.
"And with regard to [COVID-19], the president has said, 'everybody should be able to have access to a vaccine starting at the end of April, beginning of May.' I think it's too early to call off fireworks. This thing needs to happen.”
Later, Johnson said, "a lot of people said that the whole Black Hills National Forest, which is beautiful and a national treasure, was gonna burn down. It didn't. We have such talented men and women in those fire departments, they really did a good job of managing what could have been some small flare-ups but weren't.
"But you're exactly right, this is a big deal. America love this. Millions watched, the Google searches for Mount Rushmore were at its highest ever that day. It was 10 times, the highest ever Google searches for Mount Rushmore. This is what America needs. It's good for the soul."
When asked about how he plans to celebrate the Fourth of July, Johnson said, "Well listen, I think we need to make good decisions, right? I mean, at Mount Rushmore last year, I wore a mask because I thought it was the responsible thing to do. It's an outdoor venue, but I mean, we're clearly getting back to normal, and I think if people just continue to make some good decisions, washing their hands and socially distancing. If you can be smart about wearing a mask, we're going to get back to normal very quickly."
He concluded, "I liked it when the president was talking about that optimistic tone, I wish his optimism extended to Mount Rushmore."
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