Inauguration in a period with civil unrest and Corona

Lesson plan

Read the article below and write an article about the inauguration on the 20th of January 2021. Comment on the differences between Biden and Harris in 2021 and Trump and Pence in 2016.

What is the inauguration?

The inauguration is the formal ceremony that marks the start of a new presidency, and it takes place in Washington DC.

The only required feature is that the president-elect recites the presidential oath of office.

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

What will the security be like?

Presidential inaugurations typically involve detailed security plans, but even more so now, after a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol on 6 January.

Officials have ramped up security and closed off large sections of the city. The Secret Service has taken command of the security plans, backed up by some 15,000 National Guard troops, in addition to thousands of police officers. Source. BBC

How will Covid-19 change this year’s inauguration?

In normal circumstances, Washington DC would see hundreds of thousands of people flock to the city, swarming the National Mall and selling out hotels – an estimated two million came when President Obama was sworn in for his first term in 2009.

But this year, the celebration’s size will be “extremely limited”, the Biden team has said, and it has urged Americans to avoid traveling to the capital, a call that has been repeated by DC authorities following the storming of Congress. Viewing stands that had been constructed along the parade route have been taken down.

One tradition that will be preserved is that Mr Biden and Ms Harris will still take their oaths in front of the US Capitol, overlooking the Mall (a tradition that started with President Ronald Reagan in 1981). About 200 people will sit, socially distanced, on the stage with them, the Washington Post reports.

There will be masks and everybody on the platform will have to be tested within a couple of days of the event itself, it added. As for the moment of the swearing in itself, Mr Biden said back in June that he would not wear one to take the presidential oath.

The former president usually attends their successor’s inauguration

Only three presidents – John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson – have actively chosen to sit out their successor’s inaugurations, and none in the last century.

Vice-President Mike Pence, however, has said that he will attend.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: Former President of the United States Barack Obama and United States President Donald Trump walk down the east front steps of the Capitol Building after Trump is sworn in at the 58th Presidential Inauguration on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017. (Photo by John Angelillo-Pool/Getty Images)

On the morning of January 20, Donald Trump and Melania Trump will depart the White House as President and first lady, but they will not invite their incoming counterparts, Joe and Jill Biden, inside before they do.

The dissolving of one of America’s most enduring transfer-of-power rituals — the outgoing president welcoming the incoming president on the steps of the North Portico, and then riding with them to the United States Capitol — is just one of the snubs the Trumps are perpetrating as they leave Washington. Source CNN



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