ALL NEWS

Biden to be inaugurated as 46th president as Trump leaves Washington

Jan 20, 2021, 7:41 AM | Updated: 9:39 am
(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

    (CNN) — After campaigning on a promise to heal a fractured nation, President-elect Joe Biden will begin the work of uniting the country Wednesday when he is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol.

More than 25,000 National Guard troops are now in place to ensure that the nation’s transfer of power can take place peacefully. Trump, who left the White House as president for the last time Wednesday morning, will become the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend his successor’s swearing-in ceremony.

Instead, he and first lady Melania Trump are flying to Florida before Biden takes his oath of office, dispensing with the tradition of greeting the incoming President and first lady at the White House and riding with them to the Capitol. CNN’s Kate Bennett reported that White House chief usher Timothy Harleth will meet the Bidens at the White House.

On his way out of the Washington area, Trump thanked his staff and family but did not mention his successor by name.

“We love you, this has been an incredible four years,” Trump said in unscripted remarks at Joint Base Andrews shortly before leaving for Florida. “We’ve accomplished so much.”

“I will always fight for you. I will be watching. I will be listening.”

After decades in politics, Biden will deliver what may be the most important speech of his life on Wednesday at a time when the nation is gripped by a seemingly uncontrollable pandemic, an economic collapse that has left millions unemployed and deep divisions over issues of racial justice and police brutality. Biden is expected to reflect on the theme at the root of his presidential campaign — restoring the “soul of the nation” — as he explains how he hopes to unite the country.

Vice President Mike Pence plans to attend Biden’s inauguration, but the vice president’s public calendar does not indicate that he will attend the President’s event at Joint Base Andrews.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris — who will make history Wednesday when she is sworn in as the first female, the first Black and first South Asian vice president — will attend a service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in DC ahead of the inaugural ceremonies with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, in a show of unity and Biden’s intent to work with leaders from both parties.

Honoring the victims of Covid-19

Biden’s first act upon arriving in Washington Tuesday afternoon was to honor the victims of the coronavirus in a solemn ceremony, making it clear that offering compassion and understanding to Americans will be just as central to his mission as preventing more tragedy.

Moments before 400 columns of light were illuminated on the edges of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor the lives lost, Biden invited Americans to mourn as he grieved alongside them — a moment that was extraordinary because there has been nothing like it during the Trump administration. The former vice president has long been defined by his innate ability to comfort strangers he has met throughout his journey in politics, because of his experience working through tragedies in his own life — from the loss of his first wife and his infant daughter in a 1972 car accident to the death of his 46-year-old son Beau Biden in 2015.

He encapsulated the lessons of those personal experiences in his tribute to Covid-19 victims on the eve of taking the oath of office: “It’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal,” he said at the memorial. “It’s important to do that as a nation.”

Biden turns his focus Wednesday to his plans to unite the country, to broker compromise with political opponents, and turn the Trump administration’s overly politicized response to the pandemic into a functional operation that can accelerate the delivery of vaccines to Americans and right the flagging US economy.

Inauguration Day looks different this year

Plans for the inauguration itself have been reshaped not only by the pandemic, but also by the stunning security breach at the US Capitol on January 6. There will be no crowds in the streets or on the National Mall as the city remains in lockdown.

Biden plans to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, joined by former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with their spouses.

But in an empty and heavily guarded city, the rest of the traditional inaugural festivities will be geared toward an audience that will be livestreaming at home.

The inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to honor the incoming administration will be largely a virtual one. Biden and Harris will have a presidential escort from 15th Street to the White House including the US Army Band, a Joint Service Honor Guard and the commander in chief’s Guard and Fife Drum Corps. And the drumlines from the University of Delaware and Howard University will join that event to honor the alma maters of the incoming president and vice president.

The parade will be hosted by “Scandal” actor Tony Goldwyn and will feature comedian Jon Stewart, New Radicals and DJ Cassidy’s “Pass the Mic” with performances by Earth Wind & Fire, Nile Rodgers, Kathy Sledge, The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, The Washington Chorus and The Triumph Baptist Church Choir.

Several Americans who sought to lift spirits of their neighbors in the midst of the pandemic will also take part, including Dr. Jason Campbell — a Portland, Oregon, doctor who became known as the “TikToc Doc” with his uplifting dance performances in scrubs from the hospital — and Jason Zgonc, a 12-year-old trumpeter from Atlanta who played during hospital workers’ break times throughout the summer.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

(Getty Images)...
Mark Jones

Man in possession of fentanyl pills, heroin arrested at SLC airport

A Weber County man was charged in court after being arrested last week in possession of roughly 4,100 fentanyl pills and 378 dosages of heroin.
1 day ago
Condor...
Mark Jones

DWR officials taking steps to protect California condors

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is offering prizes to hunters in the Zion hunting unit to help reduce lead poisoning of the endangered California condors.
1 day ago
dangerous heat study...
Mark Jones

September was the hottest month in Salt Lake City and it wasn’t close

According to KSL meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke, September was the hottest month ever recorded in Salt Lake City.
1 day ago
supreme court pictured, its new term has started and will hear new cases...
Aimee Cobabe

U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Utah case involving bump stocks

A Utah court case involving bump stocks will not be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court declined to say why it won't take up the case.
1 day ago
The Book of Mormon Art Catalog offers users a variety of ways to conduct specific searches and to b...
Devin Oldroyd

Book of Mormon digital visual art catalog launches Monday

A digital catalog of visual art inspired by the Book of Mormon became available on Oct. 3. It features more than 2,000 pieces.
1 day ago
Mosquitos at a Utah lab are pictured....
Britt Johnson

Uptick in mosquitos in Utah caused by recent weather and temperatures

Mosquitos in Utah have seen a growth in population thanks to recent weather. While aggressive, they are not the disease-carrying breed.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Biden to be inaugurated as 46th president as Trump leaves Washington