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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Monday that attendees at a July 3 event at Mount Rushmore where President Trump is set to speak will not be required to practice social distancing.

What she's saying: "We will have a large event on July 3. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we'll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won't be social distancing."

  • "We're asking them to come — be ready to celebrate, to enjoy the freedoms and the liberties that we have in this country," Noem added.
  • There have been over 6,700 confirmed coronavirus cases and 91 deaths in South Dakota, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has come under fire for not taking precautions against the coronavirus at public events — and the president has been notably silent on whether or not Americans should wear masks.

  • Face masks and social distancing were optional at both Trump's Tulsa rally, where six campaign staffers tested positive for the virus, and another Arizona event attended by the president.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Booster shots overtake first doses in the U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate entire Brazilian city as part of study — FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adultsU.S. to lift restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8.
  2. Health: New cases down, but the West is at risk — Low vaccination rates exacerbate America's caregiving crisis — COVID is here to stay. So what does "victory" look like? — FDA will review Merck COVID-19 pill.
  3. Politics: NHL announces all but four players have been vaccinated — WHO names new advisory group on COVID origins — Biden admin warns Moderna to "step up" global vaccine supply.
  4. Education: LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations amid staffing shortage — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive — Arizona can't use aid for anti-mask education grants, Treasury says.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Oct 8, 2020 - World

Brazil tops 5 million coronavirus cases

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the Presidential Palace in Brasília, Brazil, in September. Photo: Andre Borges/picture alliance via Getty Images

Brazil became on Wednesday the third country to surpass 5 million coronavirus cases, as the virus death toll in the nation neared 150,000.

By the numbers: Brazil has the third-highest number of cases after India (almost 6.8 million) and the U.S. (over 7.5 million), per Johns Hopkins.

Oct 8, 2020 - World

European countries tighten restrictions as coronavirus cases soar

The Trocadero esplanade, in front the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Photo: Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The number of coronavirus cases exceeded 6 million in Europe Wednesday, per AFP, as the World Health Organization warns that the continent is experiencing "rising COVID-19 fatigue."

The big picture: Cases are surging across the U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany, with records set in several European countries in the past week.