Politico

Biden says he's 'not afraid' to take oath of office outside


President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that he was “not afraid” to take the oath of office outside at his upcoming inauguration ceremony, despite the deadly storming of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump last week.

“I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” Biden told reporters at a hospital in Newark, Del., where he received his second dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.

The violence across the Capitol complex last Wednesday has provoked new anxieties about the safety of Biden’s swearing-in on Jan. 20, which is already expected to diverge markedly from past inaugurations due to coronavirus restrictions and other precautionary measures.

Earlier Monday, the Pentagon announced that it had authorized up to 15,000 National Guardsmen to deploy to Washington, D.C., to support law enforcement before and during Biden’s inauguration.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser also urged Americans at a news conference Monday to stay away from the inauguration next week, and said she had requested that Trump issue a pre-emergency declaration for the city.

Trump tweeted last week that he “will not be going” to the inauguration, a decision Biden said was “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on.” Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend, as are all living former presidents with the exception of Jimmy Carter.

Biden’s inaugural committee announced Monday that the theme of the event would be “America United,” and that following his swearing-in, he would visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

During the brief stop at Arlington, Biden will be accompanied by his wife Dr. Jill Biden; Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff; and former presidents and first ladies Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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