Donald Trump’s trip to Mount Rushmore on Friday to celebrate America's Independence Day will be met with furious protests from Native Americans who say he is unwelcome on the sacred ground.
The US president has planned a huge celebration for his visit to South Dakota, one of his main events since resuming campaigning, with fighter jets performing a fly past over the monument and the first fireworks display on the site since 2009 to mark the public holiday.
It comes as US states with increasing coronavirus case numbers have been forced to close beaches and bars amid fears the July 4th celebrations over the long weekend will cause a fresh surge in the virus.
Several Native American groups plan to protest the visit to the monument, arguing that Mr Trump should have sought permission from the area's Sioux tribal governments before holding the event.
The Black Hills, where the carving of the four US presidents sits, are sacred to the Lakota Sioux tribe and are an integral part of their creation stories.
Native American activists have long argued that the 79-year-old memorial, built on a site stolen from them to honour the white Americans who drove them off their land, is as offensive as the Confederate statues that are being torn down across the country.
Quanah Parker Brightman, the director of United Native Americans, said his organisation has been advocating for the monument's removal for more than 50 years.
"It's vandalism on our sacred site. It promotes terrorism," he told The Telegraph.
Chase Iron Eyes, a spokesman for Oglala Sioux Tribe president Jukian Bear Runner, said around 200 activists have been busy preparing for the protest for days.
"If Trump wants to rally up his hateful minority into coming into our sacred land without so much as asking the tribal Indians how they want to participate, then we are going to be here to let him know," he said.
Mr Iron Eyes said Mount Rushmore could not be excluded from the current debate over monuments to leaders with a controversial past.
"Whether or not we take the faces down, we need to tell the truth about our founding fathers and how our country was founded," he said.
Others have expressed health concerns over the White House's decision to gather a large crowd at a time when 36 states are reporting an increase in coronavirus cases.
Mr Trump has long shown a fascination with Mount Rushmore, even reportedly saying it was his dream to have his face carved into the rock, and has committed to attending the site to mark the eve of the country's July 4 Independence Day.
As many as 7,500 people may attend the rally and South Dakota's governor Kristi Noem has refused to enforce social distancing measures.
"We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home," she told Fox News. "We'll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won't be social distancing."
But with America hitting yet another record number of infections with more than 48,4000 new cases reported on Wednesday, health officials have pleaded with Americans to celebrate at home.
Some of the worst hit states have moved to reimpose shutdown orders for bars, restaurants and beaches ahead of today's public holiday.
Los Angeles, which has become a new epicentre of the virus, has cancelled the city's fireworks shows along with dozens of other cities amid social distancing concerns.
Officials in Los Angeles said all public beaches, piers, car parks and bike paths will be closed from Friday to Monday to coincide with the long weekend.
Miami Beach will impose a nightly curfew from Thursday in a bid to halt the spread, while several other beaches in southern Florida have closed completely for the weekend.