When is Joe Biden sworn in as US president, and what will it look like during Covid-19?


When is Joe Biden sworn in as US president, and could it be behind closed doors?

Joe Biden is expected to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20. 

Despite the violence seen in the Capital building on Jan 6, the US Congress confirmed Mr Biden will become the next President of America, after they certified 270 Electoral College votes this Thursday, Jan 7.

After Congress approved Vermont’s votes, Mr Biden has reached the number of Electoral College votes needed to become the President of America. He has, therefore, defeated Donald Trump by 306-232.

Then, following the fatal events on Capitol Hill, Donald Trump committed to a peaceful transition of power for the first time. 

In a statement from the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Trump announced he “totally disagreed with the outcome of the election” but confirmed, “there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”

He continued: “While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” 

The traditional outdoor ceremony is set to go ahead – though the coronavirus pandemic could scale back the usual celebrations.

When and where is Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony?

In keeping with tradition, the inauguration will be held on Wednesday January 20, in front of the US Capitol in Washington DC. 

Mr Biden will be required to take an inaugural oath before assuming his duties and will deliver a public address. 

Could the ceremony be held behind closed doors?

Given the violence seen last night and the coronavirus pandemic, there are some on social media who are calling for this year’s inauguration ceremony to be held behind closed doors.

The mayor of DC has extended a public emergency declaration until January 21, the day after inauguration. This order empowers officials to reduce the hours of operation for businesses, order people off the street if a curfew is issued, and expend funds as needed to protect public safety, suggesting that city officials have the power to prevent people from gathering for the event.

She said: “President Trump continues to fan rage and violence by contending that the Presidential election was invalid,” and said, “some persons can be expected to continue their violent protests through the inauguration.”

The ceremony could also break traditions because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The US has seen the worst outbreak in the world, recording more deaths and cases than any other country.

Festivities are likely to be scaled back, with public health measures including mandatory mask-wearing, temperature checks and social distancing in place. 

The Presidential Inauguration Committee has planned a nationwide Covid memorial for the day before the inauguration.

The committee said that cities and towns around the country will be invited to light up their buildings and ring church bells at 5:30 p.m. E.T. on Jan. 19 in a “national moment of unity and remembrance.”

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