The USA is facing a political turning point: the future President Biden is sworn in. The path from election to change of power was an unprecedented tumult. And Trump pulls the break with tradition to the end.
The swearing-in of Joe Biden as the 46th US President will seal the end of Donald Trump’s turbulent tenure on Wednesday afternoon (local time). Trump plans to leave the White House early in the morning and stay away from the inauguration of his successor in front of the Capitol in Washington as the first president since Andrew Johnson in 1869. Trump wished the new administration success in a video message to the nation published on Tuesday – without naming Biden. The evening before his inauguration with the future Vice President Kamala Harris in the heart of the capital, he commemorated the more than 400,000 corona deaths in the country.
The transfer of power in the USA will go down in history in view of the unprecedented circumstances: Because of the corona pandemic, there is no mass audience for Biden. The storming of the Capitol by violent Trump supporters two weeks ago has also prompted the authorities to significantly tighten security measures. Large parts of the US capital are cordoned off. According to the Pentagon, the police are supported by around 25,000 National Guard soldiers.
The US has no time to lose when it comes to tackling the crises the nation is facing, wrote Biden on Tuesday evening (local time) on Twitter. “That’s why I’ll get down to work tomorrow after my swearing-in.” Biden spent the night in Washington, not far from the White House. When he left his home state of Delaware, he was visibly moved.
Former US Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all agreed to attend Biden’s inauguration. With them, Biden then wanted to lay a wreath at the grave of the unknown soldier at the National Cemetery in nearby Arlington. Due to the corona pandemic, the traditional ball night on the day of inauguration is canceled, instead a virtual celebration is planned.
Preparations are being made for the area around the Capitol: the USA is on the verge of a turning point. (Source: Joe Raedle / Pool Getty Images North America / AP / dpa)
Pence gives Trump a rejection
Trump’s deputy Mike Pence has also announced his participation in the inauguration ceremony. On the other hand, he did not want to come to the planned farewell ceremony for Trump at Andrews military airport near Washington, according to Pence’s program published by the White House for Wednesday. Trump then wants to fly to Florida. In the end, there was a break between the president and his deputy.
In his farewell speech, Trump said: “This week we are putting a new government in office and praying for its success to keep America safe and prosperous.” He praised his work as president and said to the new government: “The world respects us again. Please don’t lose this respect.” His administration has achieved its goals and restored America’s strength at home and abroad.
Top Republican McConnell distances himself from Trump
For weeks Trump had tried extremely questionable methods to retrospectively overturn Biden’s victory in the November 3rd election. His resistance to his defeat culminated just under two weeks ago when his supporters attacked the Capitol, which had to interrupt the certification of the election results. Trump had previously incited his supporters at a rally. In his video message, Trump said: “Political violence is an attack on everything that we as Americans value. It can never be tolerated.”
After the attack on the Capitol, it had become lonely for the president. Some party colleagues also distanced themselves from Trump – such as the Republican majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell. McConnell plans to attend a service with Biden on Wednesday shortly before the inauguration. Biden has promised to unite the deeply divided country – a mammoth task given the events of the past few weeks. In his address after the swearing in, Biden is likely to call on the Americans to unity, as he has done over and over again in recent months.
Biden: “In order to heal we have to remember”
The corona pandemic, which Biden wants to get under control, should also be a topic. On the eve of his swearing in, Biden wanted to give consolation. In memory of the victims, 400 lights were lit along the reflection basin at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. “In order to heal, we have to remember,” Biden said at the ceremony. Harris said Americans mourned alone for many months. That evening the nation mourned together. She hopes that the country will emerge from the crisis with the knowledge to appreciate the simple moments more and to open up to one another.
On Tuesday, the United States passed another gloomy milestone in the Corona crisis: More than 400,000 people have died there since the beginning of the pandemic after being infected with the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen. In the past five weeks alone, 100,000 deaths have been recorded. In absolute terms, the United States is the country with the highest number of recorded infections and deaths. Biden has made containing the pandemic one of the top priorities of his future government.