U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Pamela Harris will be sworn in at the US Capitol on Wednesday at a reduced inauguration ceremony, unlike any other country ever seen. Under the guise of the recent siege on Capitol Hill and the rapidly escalating cases of coronavirus, the event will take place between tight security and the elite crowd. But those are not the only two things that make Biden’s opening different.
While the traditional aspects of the event – such as the oath of office – will remain the same, there are several distinct differences in the President’s present presentation.
Nearly 200,000 flags are erected next to the National Mall, where thousands of excited Americans will gather to witness the first inauguration, representing the crowd that will be present at this year’s event.
The flagship category, which covers the National Mall from 3th Street to 13th Street in downtown Washington DC, was unveiled for the first time Sunday evening, reports The Hill.
While cases of coronavirus and mortality continue to rise across the United States, officials decided to cut down mainly the visitor’s opening list for Biden. The swearing-in ceremony will be limited only to members of Congress, who will be allowed to bring one guest each, the event organizers announced in December.
In September last year, 20,000 American flags were erected at the National Mall to commemorate the more than 200,00 people who were defeated by Covid-19 at the time.
Trump will not be there
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump said he would not attend the Biden-Harris inauguration ceremony. He is the first president to hold the presidency since Andrew Johnson ousted his successors under oath, according to the AP.
Hours before the inauguration, Trump is expected to fly to his home in Florida, reports the Guardian. But Deputy President Mike Pence and a few of his aides will not be present at his posting, reports the AP. They will, however, be present at the inauguration of the next president, according to reports.
Fearing an internal attack, the FBI is monitoring all members of the service
The FBI is investigating all service members sent to the Capitol before the inauguration as security officials expressed concern about the internal attacks, the AP said. This comes after it was discovered that several members of the judiciary and the military had taken part in the siege of the Capitol building.
The screening process will include adding their names to the database to see if they have committed any crimes or are listed on the clock anywhere in the country. Earlier, at least a dozen members of the National Guard were fired from their jobs at the Capitol due to various issues in their approval, reports Politico.
Security presence is full at the top
Following the Capitol Hill riots, Biden will be sworn in under the watchful eye of some 20,000 National Guard guards, deployed to the DDC to prevent any violent revolts in the days leading up to the President’s inauguration, the Washington Post reported.
The military has been on the lookout for 24 hours since the House voted to force President Donald Trump for a second term on Thursday. In fact, security has been beefed up at Capitol buildings across the country, as angry Trump supporters have taken to the streets to protest what they believe is a “criminal election”.
But despite threats of mass violence, Biden said he was not afraid to “take the oath out”, reports NPR.
Real opening showcase
The organizing committee decided to cancel the traditional opening show on Pennsylvania Avenue after the inauguration ceremony. Instead, there will be a visible “Parade Across America” featuring actors and representatives from all over the 50 States.
The show will be hosted by producer Tony Goldwyn, who played the role of US President Fitzgerald Grant in the television drama ‘Scandal’. It will feature artists and athletes, including singer Andra Day, comedian Jon Stewart, Olympic athletes Nathan Chen, Allyson Felix and Katie Ledecky.
There will also be artists and speakers from communities across the country, reports USA Today. It will be broadcast live shortly after the opening ceremony at BidenInaugural.org.
Airports tighten security, with more than 880 added to the list of flies
Airlines and airports have tightened their security measures ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The Federal Aviation Administration has said it will crack down on unruly passengers by imposing heavy fines. Several airlines have also barred travelers traveling to Washington from checking out guns.
A Delta Airlines spokesman has announced that the airline has placed 880 people on the airline’s non-compliance with its face requirements and has prevented others from flying with the airline by harassing other passengers or other conduct related to US election results, Reuters reported.
Special opening for Biden’s special post
There will be no opening balls after the swearing-in ceremony, as is not customary. Instead, Biden’s first committee produces a 90-minute TV special, which will feature celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake and Jon Bon Jovi. The program, dubbed “Celebrating America”, “will feature American heroes,” according to the event’s description.