Biden’s inaugural committee instructed the public last month to not attempt to view the ceremony in-person because of coronavirus-related concerns. Following last week’s deadly siege of the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser also warned Americans to stay away from the nation’s capital amid heightened security threats.
Airbnb, the online home rental company, announced Wednesday that it would cancel all reservations in the Washington area during the week of the inauguration to discourage out-of-town visitors.
President Donald Trump on Monday granted Bowser’s request to declare a state of emergency in Washington ahead of the inauguration, and federal officials on Wednesday authorized an increase in the number of National Guardsmen stationed across the city — potentially bringing the troop presence to beyond 20,000 by Inauguration Day.
Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a video statement Wednesday that there would be “no tolerance whatsoever for any attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”
Meanwhile, the four-star officers who make up the Joint Chiefs of Staff authored a memo to the entire force on Tuesday, affirming that Biden will become commander in chief next week and telling the troops that “any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.”
Although the president-elect’s inaugural planning team is reassessing its security planning in the aftermath of last week’s Capitol siege, Biden insisted on Monday that he is “not afraid” to take the oath of office outside on the West front of the Capitol.
Trump has said he does not plan to attend Biden’s inauguration. But Vice President Mike Pence is expected to appear, as are all living former presidents and their spouses — with the exception of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.
On Tuesday, a Chicago-area man was arrested after threatening to kill Democrats at Biden’s inauguration.