A deserted capital, thousands of soldiers in the streets, … Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in and will become President and Vice President of the United States on Wednesday. But the ceremony will be like no other. Every four years, hundreds of thousands of Americans flock to the lawn of the National Mall, a huge esplanade leading from the Lincoln Monument to the Capitol, not to miss this spectacle. This time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you will have to stay at home. The security context is also unprecedented after the violence at the Capitol which marked the spirits.
We have seen it for almost a year now: major events must adopt the virtual to maintain themselves. And this will once again be the case here. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Americans are urged to stay at home to remotely follow the ceremony. One photo is particularly explicit: that of the “field of flags” on the National Mall, instead of the usual crowd.
Joe Biden had already planned that the ceremony would be largely virtual. Not wanting to take any risk during a pandemic, he wanted to play the card of caution very early in his campaign, unlike Donald Trump who then refused to wear a mask in public and who mocked the future president, accusing him of to “hide” in “his cellar”.
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We must therefore expect a television show. No surprise on the merits: after the swearing in, Joe Biden will deliver his inaugural address and will insist on the need to reconcile the Americans. In the afternoon, he is expected to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. He will be accompanied by three of his predecessors and their wives: George W. and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama.
Despite the Covid-19, it will be a real show. Pop music star Lady Gaga will sing the US National Anthem on the steps of the Capitol. Latino star Jennifer Lopez will also perform a “musical performance,” according to the event’s organizing committee. Both had supported Biden during his campaign.
In the evening, American actor Tom Hanks will present a special, which will be broadcast on all major American channels. We will find other musical guests there, like Justin Timberlake. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will also speak on screen on this show.
As the many images show in the press and on social networks, the capital has been barricaded for several days. It must be said that the violence of January 6 against the Capitol, by supporters of Donald Trump, marked the spirits.
More than 20,000 national guards, army reservists, patrol armed to avoid overflows. Fences and concrete blocks were placed to protect the main monuments, such as the White House and of course the Capitol, during this historic day.
It will be during this day to turn the page Trump, for the future present. The Republican billionaire is also the big absent from the ceremonies. Breaking with tradition, he will no longer be in Washington when Joe Biden takes the oath. He plans to leave early on Wednesday.
“To all those who asked, I will not attend the investiture ceremony on January 20,” he said on Twitter, shortly before being banned by the social network. According to CNN, he is expected to visit his club in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. Vice-President Mike Pence will be in attendance.
Ldemocracy in all its forms
lbest of all worlds