As with any inauguration in modern times, Biden’s ascendancy to the presidency on 20 January has been declared a “national security special event”. That awards it the highest level of security preparation, with all the phenomenal firepower that federal agencies led by the Secret Service and FBI can muster.
In the wake of the attack on the Capitol, that already elevated security level is now being ramped up significantly. The risk of the incoming president and vice-president, three former presidents, the nine members of the US supreme court, and most members of Congress – all of whom are expected to attend the inauguration – being exposed to a repeat attack by the Trump-incited mob is beyond contemplation…
Within hours of Wednesday’s carnage, that beefing up was already in plain sight. A 7ft-tall “non-scalable” fence is being erected in a giant circle around the Capitol grounds where it will remain for at least 30 days.
A state of emergency has been declared in Washington DC that will last until the day after the inauguration. More than 6,200 national guard personnel will be in the city by this weekend, according to the mayor, Muriel Bowser.