DC preps for un­con­ven­tional in­au­gu­ra­tion

More se­cu­rity af­ter riot, fewer events due to virus

- Sa­van­nah Behrmann Con­tribut­ing: John Fritze, Michael Collins, Kevin John­son, Tom Van­den Brook, USA TO­DAY; The As­so­ci­ated Press U.S. News · US Politics · Politics · Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · Washington · Joe Biden · Joe · United States of America · Donald Trump · Amtrak · Delaware · Kamala Harris · Jill Biden · White House · Pennsylvania · Pennsylvania Avenue · United States Capitol Police · Air National Guard · FBI · United States Department of the Interior · National Park Service · Department of Homeland Security · Homeland · Columbia University · Mike Pence · Twitter · Barack Obama · George W. Bush · George H. W. Bush · Bill Clinton · Michelle Obama · Hillary Clinton · Jimmy Carter · Wilmington, DE · Honor · Muriel Bowser

WASHINGTON – Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Bi­den will be in­au­gu­rated at noon on Jan. 20, be­com­ing the 46th pres­i­dent of the United States.

But it won’t be a typ­i­cal in­au­gu­ra­tion, for sev­eral rea­sons.

The on­go­ing coro­n­avirus pan­demic and fresh se­cu­rity con­cerns fol­low­ing a pro-Trump mob breach­ing the Capi­tol last week have com­bined to force some changes to what is a his­tor­i­cal Amer­i­can day.

Most of the events sur­round­ing Bi­den’s swear­ing-in will be vir­tu­ally fo­cused.

Here’s what you need to know:

What will the day look like?

CNN re­ported that Bi­den will ar­rive at the na­tion’s cap­i­tal the same way he did for decades as a se­na­tor: the Am­trak train.

Bi­den’s affin­ity for Am­trak is well­known be­cause of his daily com­mute for 36 years be­tween Wilm­ing­ton and Washington, D.C., while serv­ing as a se­na­tor from Delaware. The rail­road es­ti­mated he had trav­eled 2.1 mil­lion miles on its rails.

He will still be sworn in on the steps of the Capi­tol. De­spite fears that pro­Trump ri­ot­ers would re­turn to Washington on In­au­gu­ra­tion Day, Bi­den has in­sisted that he will pro­ceed with his swear­ing-in cer­e­mony as planned.

“I am not afraid to take the oath out­side,” he said Mon­day.

Bi­den and Vice Pres­i­dent Ka­mala Har­ris will then lay a wreath and con­duct a Pass in Re­view in­spec­tion of the troops at the Capi­tol. They will be joined by their part­ners, Jill Bi­den and Doug Emhoff.

The Bi­dens will re­ceive a pres­i­den­tial es­cort from 15th Street to the White House af­ter Bi­den’s swear­ing-in on the West Front of the Capi­tol. The es­cort will in­clude rep­re­sen­ta­tives of ev­ery branch of the mil­i­tary, in­clud­ing the U.S. Army Band, a Joint Ser­vice Honor Guard, and the Com­man­der-in-Chief ’s Guard and Fife and Drum Corps from

the 3rd U.S. In­fantry “The Old Guard.”

What is dif­fer­ent this year?

Bi­den’s in­au­gu­ra­tion, and the tra­di­tional events sur­round­ing it, will be scaled down be­cause of the health risks posed by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

Tick­ets to the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony are lim­ited; pa­rade view­ing stands have been dis­man­tled near the White House to dis­cour­age crowds; in­au­gu­ral balls have been can­celed; and health of­fi­cials are urg­ing peo­ple not to travel and at­tend.

In­stead of thou­sands of peo­ple gath­er­ing on the Na­tional Mall for the fes­tiv­i­ties, the tra­di­tional pa­rade down Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue will be re­placed by a vir­tual pa­rade that will be tele­vised, the Pres­i­den­tial In­au­gu­ral Com­mit­tee has an­nounced.

The pa­rade will cel­e­brate Amer­ica’s he­roes, high­light Amer­i­cans from all walks of life in dif­fer­ent states and re­gions; and re­flect the coun­try’s di­ver­sity, her­itage and re­silience, in­au­gu­ral plan­ners said.

In­au­gu­ra­tion Day will con­sist of vir­tual events, ac­cord­ing to Bi­den’s in­au­gu­ra­tion web­site, that mir­ror the for­mat and style of the vir­tual Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion last sum­mer.

‘Amer­ica United’ theme

The theme for the event will be “Amer­ica United,” an is­sue that’s long been a cen­tral fo­cus for Bi­den, but one that’s taken on added weight.

In an an­nounce­ment shared first with the As­so­ci­ated Press, the Pres­i­den­tial In­au­gu­ral Com­mit­tee said that the theme “re­flects the be­gin­ning of a new na­tional jour­ney that re­stores the soul of Amer­ica, brings the coun­try to­gether, and cre­ates a path to a brighter fu­ture.”

Height­ened se­cu­rity fol­low­ing Capi­tol breach

Less than a week af­ter a vi­o­lent mob stormed the Capi­tol in a deadly se­cu­rity breach, the Se­cret Ser­vice ex­pressed con­fi­dence Mon­day in a sprawl­ing plan to se­cure the pres­i­den­tial in­au­gu­ra­tion, de­scrib­ing it as a “zero fail mis­sion.”

Five peo­ple, in­clud­ing a U.S. Capi­tol Po­lice of­fi­cer, died as a re­sult of last week’s vi­o­lence when at­tack­ers, many of them armed and wav­ing flags in sup­port of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, rushed the Capi­tol where law­mak­ers were for­mally con­firm­ing Bi­den’s vic­tory in Novem­ber’s elec­tion.

Michael Plati, the agent lead­ing the ef­fort, vowed a “ro­bust ... pres­ence” of law en­force­ment and Na­tional Guard, along with a lay­ered net­work of fenc­ing and ve­hi­cle check­points to re­pel po­ten­tial threats.

The FBI has warned au­thor­i­ties of the pos­si­bil­ity of armed demon­stra­tions on In­au­gu­ra­tion Day in Washington and in state cap­i­tals, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial with knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has ex­tended a city­wide emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion through the day af­ter the in­au­gu­ra­tion, ex­plain­ing the “mo­ti­va­tion (of those who stormed the Capi­tol) is on­go­ing.”

Bowser also said she re­quested that the De­part­ment of the In­te­rior, which over­sees the Na­tional Park Ser­vice, can­cel and deny pub­lic gath­er­ing per­mits through Jan. 24.

Trump on Mon­day de­clared a preemp­tive emer­gency in Washington for the in­au­gu­ra­tion of his suc­ces­sor, a move that will al­low lo­cal of­fi­cials to more quickly draw on fed­eral re­sources.

The emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion will al­low the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity to co­or­di­nate dis­as­ter re­lief and to pro­vide as­sis­tance for emer­gency mea­sures “to lessen or avert the threat of a catas­tro­phe in the Dis­trict of Columbia,” the White House said.

Who will at­tend?

Trump said that he will not be at­tend­ing Bi­den’s in­au­gu­ra­tion, break­ing with more than 150 years of tra­di­tion. Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence will at­tend.

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be go­ing to the in­au­gu­ra­tion on Jan­uary 20th,” Trump an­nounced on Twit­ter be­fore his ac­count was per­ma­nently sus­pended.

For­mer Pres­i­dents Barack Obama, Ge­orge W. Bush and Bill Clin­ton, and for­mer first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hil­lary Clin­ton are ex­pected to at­tend.

For­mer Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter, who is 96, an­nounced that he will not at­tend. This is the first in­au­gu­ra­tion he has missed since his own, in 1977.

 ?? PA­TRICK SEMANSKY/AP ?? Prepa­ra­tions take place for Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Bi­den's in­au­gu­ra­tion on the West Front of the U.S. Capi­tol in Washington on Fri­day, days af­ter sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump stormed the build­ing.
PA­TRICK SEMANSKY/AP Prepa­ra­tions take place for Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Bi­den's in­au­gu­ra­tion on the West Front of the U.S. Capi­tol in Washington on Fri­day, days af­ter sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump stormed the build­ing.

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