The president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden, will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021, in a ceremony that will officially mark the end of the hectic transition period, marked by the unfounded accusations of fraud by Donald Trump.
This year, there will be quite a bit of change due to a global pandemic that has killed millions of people and deep polarization in the US with protests planned across the country.
Biden’s inauguration will take place at 5:30 pm CET and Euronews will bring you all the events related to the event live.
We review five key differences that make this year’s investiture ceremony unique
Health measures for the COVID-19 pandemic
The large crowds that normally crowd Washington DC for a presidential inauguration could look very different this year, with social distancing expected to be imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The swaths of the inauguration already made headlines in 2017 for the Trump administration, with US President Sean Spicer’s first press secretary insisting that the crowds at Trump’s inauguration were the largest in history. even though the photos seemed to show otherwise. It was one of the first of the many controversies that his mandate brought.
This year, Biden’s presidential inauguration committee is encouraging people to join virtually rather than in person, “urging the public to refrain from any travel and to participate in inauguration activities from home.”
Biden’s investiture committee has installed 200,000 flags on the National Mall to represent Americans, and tickets for the event are expected to be quite limited.
There will be a “virtual parade” to mark the shift in power that “will feature diverse and dynamic performances in communities across the country,” the committee said in a statement.
Typically, there is an inaugural dance but it is unclear what kind of celebrations there may be for the new US leaders maintaining social distance.
Many music stars participate in the inauguration. Donalt Trump had a hard time finding artists who wanted to participate.
Donald Trump is the fourth US president to boycott the inauguration of his successor
US President Donald Trump has said he will not attend his successor’s inauguration, breaking with tradition.
Presidents typically attend the inauguration as part of the handover of powers to the next commander-in-chief.
In 2017, former President Barack Obama and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who had lost the election after a bitter campaign, did attend Trump’s inauguration.
Trump is the fourth president of the United States to boycott the inauguration of a successor and the first to do so since Andrew Johnson refused to attend the Ulysses S. Grant ceremony in 1869.
John Adams also skipped Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration in 1800, vacating the White House at four in the morning, and John Quincy Adams skipped Andrew Jackson’s inauguration in 1829.
Two other presidents missed their successor’s inauguration, including Martin Van Buren for unknown reasons and Woodrow Wilson for health reasons.
Tensions after the invasion of the Capitol by Trump supporters
The inauguration comes at a time of deep polarization in the United States and tensions remain high after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol as Congress certified Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Five people were killed in the chaos that saw Capitol police invaded by Trump supporters entering Congressional offices and forcing lawmakers to safety in secret and restricted areas.
Two bombs were also found outside the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican National Committee, in what lawmakers called a dark day in the country.
Some officials are now demanding more security before the inauguration for fear of chaos and violence from far-right protesters convinced that the elections were stolen.
President Trump has repeated unsubstantiated claims that electoral fraud was committed for weeks after his defeat.
Trump Supporters Plan Protests Across America
The US media has also reported that the FBI distributed a bulletin warning of planned armed protests in all 50 state capitals amid Biden’s inauguration.
An ABC News reporter who saw the memo said the protests were expected to begin on Saturday, January 16 and last until the day of the inauguration.
A presidential inauguration is always a high-security event, with hundreds of agents and preparations carefully planned over a long time.
Michael Plati, the U.S. Secret Service special agent in charge of inauguration security, said the event’s special security status allowed for coordination between multiple agencies and that they were anticipating potential violent acts, reports the AP agency.
Acting Chief of the US Capitol Police Yogananda Pittman said in a statement: “We have comprehensive and coordinated plans to ensure the safety of the congressional community and the upcoming presidential inauguration. There will be no access public to the Capitol grounds during the inauguration, and the event will continue as planned. “
A day after Trump’s inauguration in 2017, an estimated several million people marched in Washington and around the US to protest the new president as part of the Women’s March, which remained peaceful. .
Remembering the Victims of COVID-19 After a Difficult Year in the US in Show of “Unity”
The theme for the inauguration of the presidential term this year is “America Unida,” as announced by the investiture committee, stating that the incoming US president has pledged to “heal” and “unite the country.”
Victims of COVID-19 were honored today, on the eve of Biden’s inauguration, in a ceremony around the reflecting pond of the Lincoln Memorial.
“It will be the first lighting around the reflecting pool to commemorate the lost American lives,” the inaugural committee said.
Following the inauguration, Biden will join former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton in laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in one of his first acts as president.
COVID-19 has infected more than 22.9 million people in the United States and has killed more than 370,000 in the country.