COLLEEN LONG and ALEXANDRA JAFFE, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – This time, they’ll be ready.
The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden will be held at the same locations in the same U.S. The Capitol where a violent, pro-Trump mob descended last week. But the two events are not comparable in security, said Michael Plati, the US Secret Service’s special agent in charge of security.
The event has been designated as “a special national security event,” which paves the way for communication, support and preparation among many Washington agencies, such as the Capitol police, the Pentagon, Homeland Security and local police. of the Union, the Super Bowl and the Democratic and Republican National Convention.
Last week’s rally turned into a violent siege and was seen as a free speech event in recent days, despite numerous warnings about violence from opposition groups with food rations. Inspired by President Donald Trump and his repeated attempts to pass on Biden’s victory, the violent mob marched from the White House to the Capitol, where they stayed for several hours trying to stop law enforcement from securing Biden’s victory. Five people, including a police officer, were killed. Two explosive devices were found, but they did not go off.
“I don’t want to use the phrase that we compare apples to oranges,” Plati said, but the event is scheduled for more than a year for emergencies, and they expect that there could be more violence.
Biden himself did not express concern for his safety at the opening of the post.
“I’m not afraid to take the oath out,” he told reporters Monday. “It is very important that there is a strong focus on catching those people who were inciting violence and threatening their lives, destroying public property, causing great damage – to be held accountable.”
Law enforcement officials have never been able to access a lot of information and therefore potential prospective attackers have been tipped off. But Plati said they saw the siege: “It’s a sad reminder of what could happen.”
And the opening of the event will look different from other Presidential launch due to last week’s unrest, and tight security around the province. At least 10,000 National Guard soldiers will be present on Saturday. More will be clear: uniformed officials, checkpoints, metal detectors, fencing. Some will not.
“There are various ways to ensure that we have a safe, seamless, secure environment for our defenders, but more importantly, the general public,” Plati said.
Acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement on Monday that officials had “comprehensive and integrated plans” to ensure safety and security. He said the Capitol grounds would be closed to the public. Presentation of ticket event.
The Department of Homeland Security is planning to expand its pre-planned opening hours, specifying a “flexible safety zone” ahead of the event.
DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said on Monday, just hours before announcing his resignation, that he had set a date for the Biden national inauguration on Wednesday, instead of January 19. He cited “last week’s events,” and the changing world of security.
Next week’s event was about to be canceled due to COVID-19; Biden had asked his fans to look away from home. In line with the size limit of the crowd to reduce the spread of the virus, traditional activities such as exhibitions and opening balls will be featured.
The theme of the event will be “America United,” a problem that has long been focused on Biden but which has been taken on extra weight.
In a statement originally issued by The Associated Press, the Presidential Opening Committee stated that the theme “marks the beginning of a new national journey that is restoring the American soul, uniting the world, and paving the way for a brighter future.”
In line with the theme of solidarity, the committee also announced that after Biden’s official inauguration, he, Deputy President Kamala Harris and his wife will crown the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and will be joined by former President Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and their wives. It will be one of Biden’s first acts as President, as well as a show of both sides at a time when national divisions are clearly marked.
Plati said they were ready for the team to move to Arlington – and that there could be threats to travel with them.
Trump skipped Biden’s opening, a decision Biden said was “a good thing,” even though Deputy President Mike Pence and his wife planned to attend.
One of the biggest problems last week was the lack of co-operation between many agencies in the region, which is not possible at this time because those agencies have been allowed to work together and have been doing so for months, Plati said.
“We will have enough resources, staff and systems available,” he said.
The National Park Service announced on Monday that the Washington Memorial would be closed until January 24. But plans were afoot for a massive public art exhibition that included several blocks of the National Mall to fly U.S. flags. 191,500 and 56 light columns. The exhibition is designed to symbolize all U.S. states and territories, and “Americans who can’t walk” go to the capital to celebrate.
Biden has focused on unity from the beginning. And he has spoken repeatedly since defeating the White House that he sees the unification of the country as one of his priorities as president. But the magnitude – and urgency – of the challenges Biden faced became even clearer after the Capitol siege.
“This inauguration marks a new chapter for the American people – the healing, the reunion, the reunion, the United States,” said Tony Allen, chief executive officer of the Presidential Opening Committee. “It’s time to dump her and move on. The first works will reflect our shared values and serve as a reminder that we are stronger than one, as our motto ‘e pluribus unum’ reminds us – in many, one way. ”