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An inauguration day like no other in Washington. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as president and vice president of the United States next Wednesday in a deserted capital occupied by security forces.
The authorities urged Washington residents to stay home to virtually follow the inauguration ceremony of the 46th President of the United States. They also called for people not to travel from other states to the capital.
Besides the public, the great individual absentee from the ceremonies will be the outgoing president himself, Donald Trump. When Joe Biden is sworn in, Trump will have already left Washington, breaking the tradition of a courteous and peaceful transfer of power.
The Republican billionaire will likely be at his club in Mar-a-Lago, located in South Florida, when Biden enters the makeshift amphitheater built every four years on the steps of the Capitol. The Republican plans to leave Washington on Wednesday morning.
The Army patrols the streets of Washington after the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago
“To all who have asked, I will not attend the inauguration ceremony on January 20,” he said laconically in one of his last messages on Twitter, before the social network indefinitely canceled his account.
In this way, Trump will become the first president since Andrew Johnson in 1869 who refused to attend the inauguration of his successor.
According to tradition, the outgoing president and the first lady welcome the new presidential couple on the morning of the inauguration and then all together go to the Capitol.
By contrast,, Vice President Mike Pence will be present.
Since that “insurrection” – as Biden called it – against Congress, the temple of American democracy, the federal capital has been transformed into an entrenched city.
Army trucks are deployed on the streets of Washington DC
More than 20,000 members of the National Guards – army reserves – patrol the streets heavily armed. Wire mesh fences and concrete blocks were erected to protect buildings and monuments such as the White House and the Capitol, or to close off entire roads.
The “National Mall”, a huge esplanade that runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol, will be closed to the public. This is where hundreds of thousands of Americans traditionally congregate to greet their new president.
Instead, a “field of flags” of nearly 200,000 banners will represent citizens who do not attend.
Joe Biden will assume the US presidency next Wednesday
American police have repeatedly warned that the threats of further armed attacks by far-right groups are real. Therefore, it will be attentive to possible disturbances during this historic day.
For his part, the new president had already planned a mainly virtual inauguration ceremony to prevent it from becoming a major source of COVID-19 contamination.
From the beginning of his term, Biden has wanted to make a difference with Trump, whose supporters refuse to wear a mask and follow most protective measures against the epidemic.
The arrival of the new president will be, therefore, more than ever a television moment. After being sworn in, Biden will deliver the traditional inauguration speech, emphasizing the need to reconcile Americans..
The authorities warned that there are threats of new armed attacks by groups of extreme
The pop music star Lady Gaga will perform the classic “Star-Spangled Banner”, the national anthem of the United States and the Latin star Jennifer Lopez will perform a special number.
In the afternoon, Biden plans to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery with three of his ancestors and their wives: Republican George W. and Laura Bush, and Democrats Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack and Michelle Obama.
On the way back, the new president’s entourage will stop a few hundred yards from the White House and Biden will be able to walk to his new residence.
More than 20,000 National Guardsmen were deployed in Washington
Next, he is expected to announce his first presidential decisions, of which he has already given an advance, with the signing of a series of decrees to give a first impulse.
Instead of the traditional dances and concerts that the new presidential couple in Washington usually do, this evening will be on television, with a special show hosted by the actor Tom Hanks and in which Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be seen speaking on screen.
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