Inauguration Day 2021: When is Joe Biden sworn in as US president, and will Trump attend?

Joe Biden is expected to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20.  Despite the violence seen in the Capitol building on Jan 6, the US Congress confirmed Mr Biden will become the next President of America, after they certified 270 Electoral College votes this Thursday, Jan 7. After Congress approved Vermont's votes, Mr Biden has reached the number of Electoral College votes needed to become the President. He has, therefore, defeated Donald Trump by 306-232. Then, following the fatal events on Capitol Hill, Donald Trump committed to a peaceful transition of power for the first time.  In a short video posted on Twitter (below), Mr Trump said being president had been "the honour of my lifetime" and insisted that in spreading baseless claims of election fraud he had merely been "fighting to defend American democracy". He also committed to a "smooth transition of power". The traditional outdoor ceremony is set to go ahead - though the coronavirus pandemic could scale back the usual celebrations. When and where is Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony? In keeping with tradition, the inauguration will be held on Wednesday January 20, in front of the US Capitol in Washington DC.  The inauguration is expected to take place at 11 am ET (4pm GMT).  Mr Biden will be required to take an inaugural oath before assuming his duties and will deliver a public address.  What time is Joe Biden's virtual inaugural parade? Joe Biden's inaugural parade is projected to take place around 2-3pm ET (7-8pm GMT). With strict measures in place to comply with covid-safety procedures, the event will take place largely online. In-person attendance of the event will be limited. Could the ceremony be held behind closed doors? Given the violence seen last night and the coronavirus pandemic, there are some on social media who are calling for this year's inauguration ceremony to be held behind closed doors. The mayor of DC has extended a public emergency declaration until January 21, the day after inauguration. This order empowers officials to reduce the hours of operation for businesses, order people off the street if a curfew is issued, and expend funds as needed to protect public safety, suggesting that city officials have the power to prevent people from gathering for the event. She said: “President Trump continues to fan rage and violence by contending that the Presidential election was invalid,” and said, “some persons can be expected to continue their violent protests through the inauguration.” The ceremony could also break traditions because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The US has seen the worst outbreak in the world, recording more deaths and cases than any other country. Festivities are likely to be scaled back, with public health measures including mandatory mask-wearing, temperature checks and social distancing in place.  The Presidential Inauguration Committee has planned a nationwide Covid memorial for the day before the inauguration. The committee said that cities and towns around the country will be invited to light up their buildings and ring church bells at 5:30 p.m. E.T. on Jan. 19 in a "national moment of unity and remembrance." Why is there a gap between the election and presidential inauguration? The election was held on November 3 2020, but Mr Biden does not officially become president until over two months later. Until 1933, the new president was inaugurated on March 4, four months after election day. This was then shortened to around two months with the ratification of the 20th Amendment. The time between US election and inauguration allows for the incumbent to tie up any loose ends, and for the incoming president to prepare for his tenure by working on policy and appointing his cabinet. Donald Trump, with his wife Melania Trump, is sworn in as President at the US Capitol in 2017 Credit: AFP What about the contested election? Chaos hit America when a gang of violent Trump supporters raided the US Capitol building on Jan 6 in an attempt to block the certification of the presidential election results. This came after the Senate resumed its vote count after an hours-long delay.  At present, four people have died- one of which is a female Trump supporter, Ashli Babbit, who was shot inside the Capitol building.  52 people have been arrested, while many others were injured, as Congressmen escaped to safety. Meanwhile, tens of thousands more supporters congregated outside the building in Washington DC to show their support for Mr Trump.  Even as the US Capitol building was under siege, the President maintained his claims of election fraud; however, the President addressed the rioters on Twitter, asking them to "remain peaceful" and "respect the law and our great men and women in Blue."   The Vice President, Mike Pence, has spoken out to condemn the violence of the rioters, stating that "violence never wins."  However, the US Congress declared that Joe Biden would officially become th

Inauguration Day 2021: When is Joe Biden sworn in as US president, and will Trump attend?

Joe Biden is expected to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20. 

Despite the violence seen in the Capitol building on Jan 6, the US Congress confirmed Mr Biden will become the next President of America, after they certified 270 Electoral College votes this Thursday, Jan 7.

After Congress approved Vermont's votes, Mr Biden has reached the number of Electoral College votes needed to become the President. He has, therefore, defeated Donald Trump by 306-232.

Then, following the fatal events on Capitol Hill, Donald Trump committed to a peaceful transition of power for the first time

In a short video posted on Twitter (below), Mr Trump said being president had been "the honour of my lifetime" and insisted that in spreading baseless claims of election fraud he had merely been "fighting to defend American democracy". He also committed to a "smooth transition of power".

The traditional outdoor ceremony is set to go ahead - though the coronavirus pandemic could scale back the usual celebrations.

When and where is Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony?

In keeping with tradition, the inauguration will be held on Wednesday January 20, in front of the US Capitol in Washington DC.  The inauguration is expected to take place at 11 am ET (4pm GMT). 

Mr Biden will be required to take an inaugural oath before assuming his duties and will deliver a public address. 

What time is Joe Biden's virtual inaugural parade?

Joe Biden's inaugural parade is projected to take place around 2-3pm ET (7-8pm GMT). With strict measures in place to comply with covid-safety procedures, the event will take place largely online. In-person attendance of the event will be limited.

Could the ceremony be held behind closed doors?

Given the violence seen last night and the coronavirus pandemic, there are some on social media who are calling for this year's inauguration ceremony to be held behind closed doors.

The mayor of DC has extended a public emergency declaration until January 21, the day after inauguration. This order empowers officials to reduce the hours of operation for businesses, order people off the street if a curfew is issued, and expend funds as needed to protect public safety, suggesting that city officials have the power to prevent people from gathering for the event.

She said: “President Trump continues to fan rage and violence by contending that the Presidential election was invalid,” and said, “some persons can be expected to continue their violent protests through the inauguration.”

The ceremony could also break traditions because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The US has seen the worst outbreak in the world, recording more deaths and cases than any other country.

Festivities are likely to be scaled back, with public health measures including mandatory mask-wearing, temperature checks and social distancing in place. 

The Presidential Inauguration Committee has planned a nationwide Covid memorial for the day before the inauguration.

The committee said that cities and towns around the country will be invited to light up their buildings and ring church bells at 5:30 p.m. E.T. on Jan. 19 in a "national moment of unity and remembrance."

Why is there a gap between the election and presidential inauguration?

The election was held on November 3 2020, but Mr Biden does not officially become president until over two months later.

Until 1933, the new president was inaugurated on March 4, four months after election day. This was then shortened to around two months with the ratification of the 20th Amendment.

The time between US election and inauguration allows for the incumbent to tie up any loose ends, and for the incoming president to prepare for his tenure by working on policy and appointing his cabinet.

Donald Trump, with his wife Melania Trump, is sworn in as President at the US Capitol in 2017 Credit: AFP

What about the contested election?

Chaos hit America when a gang of violent Trump supporters raided the US Capitol building on Jan 6 in an attempt to block the certification of the presidential election results. This came after the Senate resumed its vote count after an hours-long delay. 

At present, four people have died- one of which is a female Trump supporter, Ashli Babbit, who was shot inside the Capitol building. 

52 people have been arrested, while many others were injured, as Congressmen escaped to safety. Meanwhile, tens of thousands more supporters congregated outside the building in Washington DC to show their support for Mr Trump. 

Even as the US Capitol building was under siege, the President maintained his claims of election fraud; however, the President addressed the rioters on Twitter, asking them to "remain peaceful" and "respect the law and our great men and women in Blue."  

The Vice President, Mike Pence, has spoken out to condemn the violence of the rioters, stating that "violence never wins." 

However, the US Congress declared that Joe Biden would officially become the next President of the United States of America on Jan 7, after they certified the 270 Electoral College votes he needed to win. 

Will Donald Trump be there?

Mr Trump has done nothing to make the path to Inauguration Day simple for Mr Biden, and the likelihood he will attend the ceremony appears increasingly doubtful. 

If Mr Trump declines to attend on Jan 20, he will break a decades-long tradition. Usually, the person departing the White House would welcome their predecessor to the Oval Office and attend the swearing-in ceremony. 

Both Mr Biden and Barack Obama attended Mr Trump’s inauguration on Jan 20, 2017. The president’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton was also present, as were former presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Jimmy Carter. 

On the subject of Trump's attendance, Mr Blunt, who is the chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies shared that he is "confident" he will see "both Vice President Biden and President Trump on the stage on Inaugural Day". He then went on to highlight how that would be a "powerful message, no matter which and that will be a powerful message, no matter which one of them is sworn in."

Mr Trump is reportedly considering travelling to his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland to avoid Mr Biden being sworn into office. But Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has said Donald Trump would not be allowed to visit Scotland to play golf during Joe Biden's inauguration. 

The First Minister stressed it is illegal to travel in or out of the country without a valid reason and said: "Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose."

The White House has repeatedly refused to say what the outgoing president will do when Mr Biden is inaugurated on Jan 20, prompting speculation about whether Mr Trump will attend the ceremony.

However, Prestwick Airport has been told to expect the arrival of a US military Boeing 757 aircraft previously used by Mr Trump on Jan 19, according to the Sunday Post.

What will Joe Biden say?

Every president since George Washington has delivered the Inaugural Address. Mr Trump spoke for 16 minutes during his vow to break the “established order” and “make America great again”.

For Mr Biden, the focus is likely to be on the cornerstones of his policies: the pandemic, the economy, climate change and health care.

It also seems likely he will touch upon the issue of uniting Americans again - whether they voted for him or not. This issue has already been a key theme of his commentary so far.

"With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Mr Biden said in a statement. “It's time for America to unite.”

Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Credit: AFP

And what about Kamala Harris?

Vice president-elect Kamala Harris will take the inaugural oath but before Mr Biden. Ms Harris will be the nation’s first female vice president. 

She will swear to “support and defend the Constitution” and “faithfully discharge the duties of the office”. 

Who will perform?

As of yet, there is no news on who will perform at the ceremony.

During Mr Trump’s inauguration, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and teenage soprano Jackie Evancho joined him on stage.

In 2013, Mr Obama had American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, among others.