How inauguration day 2021 will be the most unique in American history
As the United States of America deals with the aftermath of the deadly Capitol insurrection and an ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office in a much muted event that normally draws in crowds of thousands. The inauguration day will be unlike any other that America has witnessed. Here is everything that will be different about Inauguration Day 2021:
Limited in-person attendance
The joint congressional committee on inaugural ceremonies has only allowed permitted attendance at the event due to coronavirus pandemic. Instead of the usual 200,000 tickets distributed to members of Congress and passed out to their constituents, organizers have allowed just over 1,000 tickets, one for each of the 535 members of Congress and one guest each.
Outgoing president Donald Trump won’t be in attendance
President Trump will not be attending Biden’s inauguration. With this Trump joins a select few who decided to snub their successor’s inauguration, but he is the first incumbent president to do so since Andrew Johnson in 1869.
Virtual in-person parade
The usual in-person inaugural parade has also been cancelled due to the pandemic as well as the security threats after the US Capitol insurrection. Biden will receive the traditional presidential escort without a crowd of supporters cheering the passing convoy as organizers decided to host a virtual "Parade Across America," followed by a televised "Celebrating America Primetime Special," hosted by Tom Hanks.
Even though presidential inauguration is always a high-security event, this time US officials are worried about far-right groups protesting during the events. Around 25,000 members of the National Guard will be present in Washington DC for the event, with the Pentagon having vetted members for any ties to far-right extremists. FBI Director Christopher Wray said, "We’re concerned about the potential for violence at multiple protests and rallies planned here in DC and at state Capitol buildings around the country in the days to come that could bring armed individuals within close proximity to government buildings and officials."