In pictures: the July 4 celebrations at Sombre in the United States |

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The U.S. marked an unusually bleak independence day, with President Donald Trump disparaging national opponents and China – but praising the country’s coronavirus response, despite a record increase in the number of cases.Instead of adopting a unifying tone, Trump, faced with a difficult re-election and eager to mobilize his political base, rebelled against protesters demanding racial justice after unarmed African American George Floyd was killed by a white policeman.

“We are now defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators and the looters,” Trump said at an event in the White House on Saturday.

Some of the most vocal words of the American leader were addressed to the media, which he accused of having waged a campaign to label the opponents as racists.

“The more you lie, the more you slander, the more you try to belittle and divide, the harder we will work to tell the truth and we will win,” said Trump, four months before the election.

Fears of viruses across the country have mitigated or canceled Main Street parades, backyard barbecues and family reunions on the day Americans generally celebrate their 1776 declaration of independence from Britain .

Trump’s challenger in November, Democrat Joe Biden, took a very different tone, tweeting, “Our nation was founded on a simple idea: we are all created equal. We’ve never been up to it – but we’ve never stopped trying. On Independence Day, let’s not just celebrate these words, let’s commit to finally making them happen. ”

Trump’s controversial address came as popular beaches on both coasts, normally crowded on July 4, were closed while California and Florida were experiencing alarming increases in COVID-19 infections.

The death toll from the American virus is rapidly approaching 130,000, or about a quarter of the world total.

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