United States President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take office at the White House on Wednesday. The ceremony, traditionally marked by the symbolism of the transition of power for the nation’s new rulers, will have some protocol changes this year.
First, because it occurs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic which, in the United States alone, has infected more than 24 million people and caused nearly 400,000 deaths. Second, it happens exactly two weeks after the insurgency against Congress in Biden’s victory certification session.
Each in their own way, these two aspects raised new security requirements for opening day. The US capital, Washington, is in a state of emergency to control the progression of Covid-19 cases. In addition, all stages of this Wednesday’s event will have a strict security system run by the Secret Service.
Following the attacks on the Capitol, more than 15,000 men of the National Guard will join thousands of other police officers and agents responsible for ensuring the safety of the entourage of the elected president and the general public present.
Oath and swearing-in ceremony
According to the official agenda released by the Presidential Inauguration Committee, this Wednesday’s most important event, the oath taken by Biden and Kamala in front of the West Front of the Capitol, will take place with a limited audience due to protocols. public health and safety. There will only be 1,000 guests, unlike the roughly 200,000 people who attended previous possessions.
The oath itself must begin shortly before 12 p.m. local time (2 p.m. Brasilia). Kamala, the first black woman to assume the U.S. vice presidency, announced that she would use two different Bibles in her oath.
The first is the same one Kamala used when she took over as California state attorney general and was owned by Regina Shelton, whom the vice president-elect sees as a second mother.
The second bible belonged to icon of the civil rights movement Thurgood Marshall, the first black judge to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. The person responsible for the official inauguration of the vice-president-elect will be Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who also pioneered being the first magistrate of Hispanic origin to hold a position in America’s highest court.
Trump’s term officially ends at noon, and then the Democrat who defeated him at the polls will take on the task of leading the United States through crises that go beyond those caused by the coronavirus.
Biden’s official program says the president-elect will deliver an inaugural address outlining his vision to “beat the pandemic, better rebuild and unify and heal the nation” after being sworn in by Supreme Court Chief John Roberts. The judge also formalized Obama’s two terms and Trump’s only.
US national anthem and musical performances
After declaring her support for the Democratic campaign before and after the November 3 election, Lady Gaga was chosen to sing the national anthem at the ceremony, continuing a tradition interrupted by Donald Trump.
In possession of the Republican who sang the anthem was a former participant of the reality show “America’s Got Talent, Jackie Evancho. Her predecessor, Barack Obama, invited Aretha Franklin to the ceremony in 2009, and Beyoncé in 2013. Also singer Jennifer Lopez is scheduled to appear this Wednesday.
Next First Lady, Jill Biden, and Second Gentleman, Kamala’s husband Doug Emhoff, will also take part in a virtual show starting at 10 a.m. (12 p.m. in Brasilia) aimed at children and teens, which includes an animal presentation. presidential company.
Military Parade and Arlington Cemetery Tour
Next, Biden, Jill, Kamala, and Emhoff will review the troops. It is a long-standing military tradition in which members of the armed forces march past the new president, symbolizing a peaceful transfer of power.
Next, the group visits Arlington National Cemetery, America’s most traditional military cemetery, to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument that honors soldiers buried without identification.
At this point, three of the surviving former occupants of the White House, along with their respective wives, join the entourage: Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. At 96, former President Jimmy Carter announced he would not be traveling to Washington due to old age, but wished the Biden government success.
The notable exception, which represents a historic break with American Democratic traditions, is Republican Donald Trump, who announced in advance that he would not attend the inauguration ceremony of his Democratic opponent after months claiming , without solid evidence, that the elections were fraudulent.
Military Escort and ‘Parade Across America’
The tradition in which the new president marches along Pennsylvania Avenue – one of the major public thoroughfares in the US capital, which connects the Capitol to the White House – has been replaced by a more modest military escort who will guide Biden to headquarters official of the US Presidency.
Then, starting at 3:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m., in Brasilia), “Parada pela América” is scheduled to begin, a virtual parade with presentations from representatives from 50 states, as a choir formed entirely by transgender people, in addition to Olympic athletes. and artists such as singer Andra Day and the band Earth, Wind & Fire.
Because it is not only the formalities that an American president goes through, from 8:30 pm (10:30 pm in Brasilia), a special entitled “Celebrating America”. Presented by actor Tom Hanks, the program was the chosen route to replace the traditional and luxurious opening ball.
The special, in which Biden and Kamala are scheduled to speak again, will air live on major US television channels and will feature performances from artists such as Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters, among others. .