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Anda Chu/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds are planning a tour to promote national unity amid the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump said at Wednesday's White House press briefing.

The big picture: Some demonstration squadrons will fly in unison, while others will fly individually, in a mission titled "Operation America Strong," as the Washington Post first reported based on defense officials and a memo. The flights will not feature stunts, and will avoid passing regions where people might congregate to promote social distancing.

  • Congressional staffers have reportedly been briefed on the plan and Trump spoke in support of the idea at a press conference Wednesday.
  • Trump says the event will take place July 4.

What Trump's saying:

"When we want to win, we always win, sometimes we don't want to win and so we go standstill. That's not the way this country works. Operation America Strong was the idea of our great military men and women. The Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels who wanted to show support to the American medical workers who just like military members in a time of war are fiercely running toward the fight — I want to see those shows ... On July 4th, we will be doing what we had at the [National Mall], it was a tremendous success. 
"Our great military is operating at 100% during this crisis. Thousands of troops are deployed alongside of civilians and the hot spots as you know you see them all over."

Between the lines: The Trump administration has repeatedly used the military to display power and patriotism — but the move has previously previously drawn backlash. Trump's "Salute to America" last July 4 received criticism for transporting tanks onto the National Mall.

  • The squadrons' flights each coast a minimum of $60,000 per hour, per the Post.

Go deeper

Chauvin defense closing: "Does not have to prove his innocence"

Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson opened his closing argument on Monday by reminding the jury that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Merrick Garland: Domestic terror is "still with us"

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.