Washington (AP) – Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th US president will seal the end of Donald Trump’s turbulent tenure.
Trump plans to leave the White House early in the morning and be the first president since Andrew Johnson to stay away from the inauguration of his successor to the Capitol in Washington in 1869.
Trump wished the new administration success in a video message to the nation – without mentioning Biden. The night before his inauguration with future Vice President Kamala Harris in the heart of the capital, he commemorated the more than 400,000 corona deaths in the country.
The transfer of power in the US will go down in history given the unprecedented circumstances: Due to the corona pandemic, there is no mass audience for Biden. The storming of the Capitol by violent Trump supporters two weeks ago also prompted authorities to tighten security measures significantly. Large parts of the American capital have been cordoned off. According to the Pentagon, the police are supported by about 25,000 National Guard soldiers.
The US has no time to waste when it comes to addressing the crises the country is facing, Biden wrote on Twitter. “That’s why I’m going to work tomorrow after I’m sworn in.” Biden spent the night in Washington, not far from the White House. When he left his home state of Delaware, he was visibly moved.
Former US Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all agreed to attend Biden’s inauguration. With them, Biden then wanted to lay a wreath at the grave of the unknown soldier at the National Cemetery in nearby Arlington. Due to the corona pandemic, the traditional ball evening will be canceled on the day of inauguration, but a virtual celebration is planned.
Trump’s deputy Mike Pence has also announced his participation in the inauguration ceremony. On the other hand, he did not want to attend Trump’s planned farewell ceremony at Andrews military airport near Washington, according to Pence’s program published by the White House. Trump then wants to fly to Florida. Ultimately, there was a rift between the president and his deputy.
In his farewell address, Trump said, “This week we are introducing a new administration and praying for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous.” Praising his work as president, he told the new government, “The world respects us again. Please don’t lose this respect. “His government has achieved its goals and has restored America’s strength at home and abroad.
Trump had spent weeks trying extremely questionable methods to retroactively reverse Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 election. His opposition to his defeat culminated just under two weeks ago when his supporters attacked the Capitol, forcing the certification of the election results to be interrupted. Trump had previously summoned his supporters to a rally. In his video message, Trump said, “Political violence is an attack on everything we as Americans value. It can never be tolerated. “
After the attack on the Capitol, things had become lonely for the president. Some party colleagues also distanced themselves from Trump – such as top Republican Mitch McConnell. McConnell plans to attend a service with Biden shortly before the inauguration. Biden has pledged to unite the deeply divided country – a daunting task given the events of recent weeks. In his post-inauguration speech, Biden will likely appeal to Americans for unity, as he has done over and over in recent months.
The corona pandemic, which Biden wants to get under control, must also be a subject. On the eve of his inauguration, Biden wanted to offer comfort. In memory of the victims, 400 lights were lit along the reflection basin at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. “In order to heal, we must remember it,” Biden said at the ceremony. Harris said Americans mourned alone for months. That evening the people mourned together. She hopes the country will come out of the crisis knowing that it will appreciate the simple moments more and open up to each other.
On Tuesday, the United States passed another dismal milestone in the Corona crisis: more than 400,000 people have died there since the pandemic began after being infected with the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen. 100,000 deaths have been recorded in the past five weeks alone. In absolute terms, the United States is the country with the highest number of recorded infections and deaths. Biden has made containment of the pandemic one of the top priorities of his future government.