politics

How Joe Biden's inauguration will be different to Donald Trump's


Joe Biden will take the oath of office and become President of the United States on Wednesday January 20, 2021. Finally.

And despite the reduced attendance and high security, many of the traditional aspects of the Inauguration will go ahead as planned.

There’ll be a ceremony on the steps of the Capitol Building, which still being repaired from last week’s violence.

And there will be celebrity entertainment – Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem, while Jennifer Lopez will also perform.

But aside from the ceremony itself, much of Inauguration Day will be a departure from previous years.

Here’s some of the ways Joe Biden’s Inauguration will be different.

Washington will be a fortress – and there won’t be a crowd



Security will be very high
Security will be very high

Usually the National Mall, which leads from the Lincoln Memorial, past the Washington Monument to the steps of the Capitol Building – is packed with people on Inauguration Day.

The first weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency were dominated by his false claims to have had a bigger crowd on the Mall than predecessor Barack Obama.

But this year the city has announced the Mall will be entirely closed to the public – an unprecedented shutdown of America’s most prominent public monuments – over fears of violent protests.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has urged Americans not to come to the city to watch the inauguration, and instead to watch it at home.

There won’t be a parade



Some of the events have been made virtual
Some of the events have been made virtual

The President usually goes directly from being sworn to lead a huge parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Instead, they’ll make the journey to the White House – a little more than a mile – escorted by a different branch of the military for one city block each.

Meanwhile, there will be a “virtual parade” broadcast featuring artists, musicians and poets “paying homage to America’s heroes on the front lines of the pandemic.”

The balls and concerts will be replaced by two TV specials



Tom Hanks will host a TV special
Tom Hanks will host a TV special

Usually the President is expected to attend a string of balls around the capital – but they won’t be going ahead due to Covid-19.

Instead there’ll be a live, prime-time TV broadcast called “Celebrating America”. It will be hosted by Tom Hanks and will feature performances from Justin Timberlake, Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons.

The night before the inauguration, there will be a virtual ‘concert’, hosted by Keegan-Michael Key and Debra Messing.

Carole King, Will.I.AM, James Taylor, Fall Out Boy, Michael Bivins, Ben Harper and AJR are expected to perform.

There will be a “lighting ceremony”

A first for this inauguration will be a ‘lighting ceremony’ around the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool, to honour people who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Donald Trump won’t be there



He's not coming
He’s not coming

The outgoing US President has said he does not intend to attend the inauguration – making him one of only a handful of Presidents to snub their successor’s swearing in.

His daughter, Ivanka, has also said she won’t attend – but children of the outgoing president generally don’t.





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