Jan. 17 (UPI) — President-elect Joe Biden’s team said that his inauguration ceremony will take place at the U.S. Capitol building as planned despite concerns of violence following the siege on the building earlier this month.
Appearing on ABC News’ This Week, Biden’s incoming White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said that while some portions of the ceremony were canceled due to the riot by supporters of President Trump as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains important to hold the inauguration in the traditional location.
“I think it will send an incredibly important visual image to the world about the resilience of American democracy, and so, our plan and our expectation is that President-elect Biden will put his hand on the bible with his family outside on the west side of the Capitol on the 20th,” said Bedingfield.
In response to the Jan. 6 insurrection as Congress worked to certify Biden’s election win, rail service around Washington, D.C. has been suspended, the National Mall will be closed to the public until after the inauguration and tens of thousands of National Guard troops and Secret Service agents stationed in the city.
Bedingfield said that Biden will continue the themes of his campaign and deliver a message of unity on inauguration day.
“He believes that we have to bring this country together. He believes that we have to bring this country together, that a unified America is the only way that we’re going to be able to tackle the massive crises that we’re grappling with,” she said.
Trump plans to leave Washington, D.C., on inauguration day and will not attend Biden’s ceremony but instead have his own farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, anonymous sources told USA Today and NPR. Trump is scheduled to arrive after Biden is sworn in at Palm Beach International Airport and reside at his private club, Mara-a-Lago.
Ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration activities, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris plans to officially resign from her seat on the U.S. Senate on Monday, an aide told CNN.
Aides said she has begun the process of resignation, notifying California Gov. Gavin Newsom of her intent.
Last month Newsom announced that Alex Padilla, California’s current secretary of state, to fill the seat left open by Harris’ departure.