In a few hours, he’ll be moving into the Oval Office. Democrat Joe Biden will be invested 46th President of the United States, Wednesday, January 20, during a ceremony placed under close surveillance. More than 20,000 military personnel have been deployed to Washington to secure the event, which will take place at midday on Capitol Hill, over fears of further violence from pro-Trump protesters. High gates, sometimes topped with barbed wire, also protect the “red zone” between Congress Hill and the White House. Follow our live.
A small committee ceremony. Usually, the investiture is the occasion for thousands of Americans to gather on the “National Mall”, the gigantic esplanade of the Capitol. This year, only hand-picked guests will be able to attend, due to the Covid-19 epidemic and the security system put in place. Over 190,000 flags were planted on the lawn to represent this absent audience.
Virtual festivities. The traditional celebrations following the inauguration of the president have also been modified because of the health context. Oscar winner Tom Hanks will host a special broadcast on all major US channels on Wednesday night with a number of artists including Justin Timberlake and Bruce Springsteen.
Donald Trump absent. The outgoing president announced what‘he would leave the White House on Wednesday morning to get to Florida. He took off by helicopter around 2:30 p.m. (French time). The billionaire will be the first president not to attend the swearing-in of his successor for 150 years. Just before the end of his term, he pardoned 73 people and commuted 70 sentences.