Joe Biden Inauguration: Capitol Put on Lockdown After Security Alert
The Capitol complex in Washington DC was briefly locked down after a security alert, two days before Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Police informed that they acted out of an abundance of caution after witnesses reported smoke rising nearby. The fire was several blocks away.
The move came amid preparations for a rehearsal for Joe Biden’s inauguration as president.
Five people died after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, which is home to the Congress, on January 6.
Thousands of National Guard reserve soldiers have been deployed at the Capitol and around central Washington DC.
There was no threat to the public, officials said after January 18 lockdown. Congress is currently in recess.
Security is tight after the rioters overran the Capitol earlier this month.
The National Mall – the landscaped park around the complex – has been closed, along with many major roads. Fences have been put up around the White House.
The inauguration rehearsal scheduled for January 18 has already been postponed once on security grounds.
All 50 states and the DC are on alert for possible violent protests.
The FBI has warned of possible armed marches by pro-Trump supporters across state capitols.
FBI Warns of Possible Armed Protests Before Joe Biden’s Inauguration
Joe Biden to Issue Decrees to Reverse Trump’s Policies
Once he is sworn in, Joe Biden will issue executive orders to reverse President Donald Trump’s travel bans and re-join the Paris climate accord.
Joe Biden is also expected to focus on reuniting families separated at the US-Mexico border, and to issue mandates on Covid-19 and mask-wearing.
The president-elect and VP-elect Kamala Harris will take the oath of office in front of the Capitol building, overlooking the National Mall.
Normally a crowd of hundreds of thousands would be there to witness a significant moment in American national life.
However, between the coronavirus pandemic and security concerns, the size of the crowd is being severely restricted this year.
Once sworn in, Joe Biden will give an inaugural address, setting the agenda for his term in office.
The ceremonies include a poetry reading, the Pledge of Allegiance and a benediction. Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem, and there will be a musical performance by Jennifer Lopez.
President Trump has said he will not attend the inauguration.
Tom Hanks will host an event on prime-time TV on the night of the 20th, with performances by Justin Timberlake and Bon Jovi.
Joe Biden’s inauguration planning team has designated the day before the swearing-in as a nationwide memorial to lives lost through Covid-19.