Joe Biden will officially make his move to the White House today, Wednesday as the new U.S President with Kamala Harris becoming first woman to serve as vice president after their inauguration in Washington that has been scaled down due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The inauguration is a political parade and celebration, a formal ceremony that marks the start of a new presidency but this year it will be different as a result of the pandemic.
Absent will be the typical crowd of hundreds of thousands of people stretching from the Capitol down the National Mall. In their place, a sea of 200,000 U.S., state and territorial flags will representing those who could not attend.
Ahead of taking office, Joe Biden has expressed a message of unity, and in particular the need to come together and face the challenges brought by the pandemic that has killed 400,000 people in the United States and caused economic hardship to many.
Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend, as are former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, and former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Authorities have boosted inauguration security with the event coming two weeks after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a deadly riot as they attempted to disrupt the official counting of Biden’s election win.
U.S. security officials say they are taking every precaution, including FBI security screening of the 25,000 members of the National Guard assigned to Washington to protect the event.