US President Donald Trump will leave Washington at dawn on Wednesday, hours before the inauguration of his Democratic successor Joe Biden. He will join Florida and his luxurious club in Mar-a-Lago, where he intends to settle.
After a helicopter departure from the gardens of the White House, he will fly from the Andrews military base (Maryland) for his last flight aboard Air Force One.
In Washington, transformed into an entrenched camp after the violence on the Capitol, preparations continue for the swearing in of Joe Biden, who will become, at noon, the 46th President of the United States.
His team distills, day after day, details on the organization of the ceremony. The “National Mall”, the huge esplanade at the foot of the Capitol, will be closed to the public. A “Field of flags” will be installed there in the place where, traditionally, the supporters of the elected president gather by the hundreds of thousands. Only accredited persons will be allowed to enter the area.
Tom Hanks to host a special
Lady Gaga will sing the American national anthem. Then Jennifer Lopez will perform a “Musical performance”, specified the organizing committee of the event. Both had supported Joe Biden during his campaign, and Lady Gaga, whom Joe Biden calls her “Great friend”, had already occurred during its last big meeting.
After the ceremony, the new president would immediately go to Arlington National Cemetery with three of his predecessors: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and appeal for ‘unit.
In the evening, American comedian Tom Hanks will present a special show, broadcast on all major American channels, with other musical guests, including Justin Timberlake.
In 2009, Aretha Franklin had sung during the first inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama, as well as Bruce Springsteen, U2, Shakira or Stevie Wonder. Four years later for her re-election, Beyoncé sang the national anthem. In 2017, Donald Trump had to settle for lesser-known artists.
Mike Pence at the helm
Donald Trump is the first president to snub his successor’s swearing-in for more than 150 years. He still hasn’t congratulated Joe Biden.
However, Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to participate in the ceremony. And while Donald Trump no longer shows himself, he appears more and more as the man in charge. On Thursday, he congratulated future Vice-President Kamala Harris by phone. It was their first exchange since their fall debate in the heart of the campaign.
The White House is emptying at high speed: many advisers have already left the scene, taking documents and souvenirs. The photos of Donald Trump traveling in the United States or around the world, hung on the walls of the famous West Wing (the west wing), are no longer there. On the large empty walls, only a few hooks remain, pending the photos of Joe Biden.