24.2 C
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Biden Inauguration Ceremony Curtailed by Security, Virus Threats

Must read

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Joe Biden will take the oath of office as president in a ceremony dramatically reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic and still-simmering threats of violence in Washington, casting a pall over the quadrennial celebration of American democracy.

His swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday will come amid an unprecedented cordon of security, with strict physical distancing measures in place as well. A sea of 200,000 flags on the National Mall will stand in for the normally vast crowd cheering a new commander in chief.

And while Biden is using his inauguration to highlight “America United,” he faces a nation where many Republicans still reject his victory, including outgoing President Donald Trump — who Biden’s fellow Democrats and a handful of Republicans impeached for a second time last week despite Biden’s misgivings about the message it would send as he ascended to the presidency.

Biden will become the 46th U.S. president at noon on Jan. 20, a time prescribed by the Constitution. He’ll stand on the western-facing steps of the U.S. Capitol building, a nod to the power of the legislative branch and the nation that stretches out before him. But he’s asked the audience to stay home.

The inauguration displays to the world the country’s tradition of a peaceful transfer of power, which will be represented this year by the inclusion of every living former president — except 96-year-old Jimmy Carter — and Vice President Mike Pence.

But Trump won’t be there. Fresh from his historic second impeachment, he’s expected to leave for his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida the morning of the event, and will not have Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, over to the White House beforehand, as is customary.

The twin challenges of the coronavirus and security threats have meant that many traditions have been put on hold. The inaugural parade will be replaced by a short military procession.

Trump is refusing to attend the ceremony, the first living Oval Office occupant to skip the regularly scheduled inauguration of his successor in more than a century.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -

Latest article