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Biden’s Inauguration Day: From Oath-Taking To Honouring COVID-19 Victims

Channels Television  
Updated January 19, 2021
US President-Elect Joe Biden speaks at Major Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III National Guard /Reserve Center in New Castle Airport on January 19, 2021, in New Castle, Delaware, before departing for Washington, DC.
JIM WATSON / AFP

 

Joe Biden will be sworn in on Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States, during a day steeped in tradition and ceremony that nonetheless has been altered due to the pandemic and tight security after the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

 

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 17: A tent is seen outside of the Blair House, where President-elect Joe Biden will stay the night before this week’s inauguration on January 17, 2021
Sarah Silbiger / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Night at Blair House

Biden and his wife Jill will spend Tuesday night in the lavish Blair House, located opposite the White House on Lafayette Square, that the US government uses to host special guests and visiting dignitaries.

Religious services

On Wednesday morning Biden, a devout Catholic, will attend Mass at St Matthews church in Washington, and has invited Congressional leaders from both political parties.

Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman Kevin McCarthy will represent the Republicans, while Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi will also attend, sources have told AFP.

Taking the oath

Biden will then travel in a motorcade to the Capitol, the site of the January 6 riot by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, where the inauguration ceremony gets underway at 11:00 am (1600 GMT).

He will be sworn in after Vice President-elect Kamala Harris takes her vow, then will give his inaugural speech, during which he is expected to outline his vision to tackle America’s multiple crises and his plan to “build back better.”

The National Mall that runs from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial will be closed due to Covid-19 fears and because of tight security stemming from the January 6 attack.

Lady Gaga is due to sing the national anthem, while Jennifer Lopez is also set to give a musical performance.

As is custom, the newly inaugurated 46th US president will then dine with members of Congress in the Capitol building.

Arlington National Cemetery

In the afternoon, Biden will head to Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington to place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, accompanied by former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Trump, who is shunning the day’s events, will not be there.

 

Members of the National Guard gather near the US Capitol, ahead of the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Washington, DC on January 19, 2021. .
Olivier DOULIERY / AFP

White House

From Arlington, Biden will travel by motorcade to the White House and is expected make the last part of the journey on foot and enter his new home surrounded by a military cordon.

Biden is due to sign his first executive orders shortly after arriving.

 

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 17: Members of Florida National Guard stand guard at the Lincoln Memorial on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. Raedle/Getty Images/AFP
JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Honoring the pandemic’s victims

At 8:25 pm, Biden and Harris will give a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, honoring the 400,000 people that have died from Covid-19 in America.

Shortly after, actor Tom Hanks will host a show called “Celebrating America” that will be broadcast on all major US networks.

Jon Bon Jovi, the Foo Fighters, John Legend, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Luis Fonsi are among the guests expected to perform.

AFP