Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday in a ceremony, which will be unlike any other presidential inauguration in the country. The ceremony will not be attended by outgoing President Donald Trump and will take place amid heavy security deployment in Washington.
Nearly 25,000 National Guard soldiers have reportedly been deployed across Washington after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building on January 6 leaving five dead. The Capitol building and the White House have now been fenced. Checkpoints have also been put in place to prevent further violence. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic had also blocked the possibility of a large gatherings or public events.
For the first time in US history, the outgoing president, Donald Trump, will skip the inauguration of the new president. Trump will be in Florida when Biden is sworn in will not hand off the black leather case to the incoming president. It will be for the first time that a sitting president will not handover to the incoming president the nuclear ‘football’, a briefcase with command and control of the country's nuclear arsenal. according to NBC News.
Trump is yet to personally congratulate Biden. Trump has refused to participate in any of the symbolic traditions around the transition of power, such as inviting the Bidens over for a cup-of-tea visit to the White House. So far, he has released a pre-recorded video as his farewell message asking Americans to “pray” for the success of the Biden government. He said that Americans must unite over their shared values and rise above partisan politics.
Trump issued a wave of pardons Tuesday night right ahead of the end of his presidency to grant pardons to 143 people, including his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was charged with money laundeing and defrauding donors who gave money to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Trump, in his farewell event, has arranged for a military sendoff in Maryland with a military band and 21-gun salute. Although many guests have been invited, it is expected that the attendance will be low. Even Vice President Mike Pence will be skipping the event and he has cited logistical challenges for the same. Several Republican leaders, including current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who will instead attend church with Biden.
After being sworn in, Biden will deliver his first presidential address. Biden is also not holding the traditional inaugural balls because of the pandemic. Instead, the new president will take part in the television event "Celebrating America."
Before leaving for Washinton for the inauguration ceremony, Biden on Tuesday delivered an emotional speech at his farewell ceremony in his hometown Wilmington, Delaware.
Meanwhile, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke at the virtual inaugural ball celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Harris expressed gratitude to the AAPI community for their support during the campaign.