Preparations at the Washington Capitol on January 19, 2021, before Joe Biden's inauguration.


Carolyn Kaster / AP / SIPA

A page turns.

At 11:59 a.m. Wednesday (5:59 p.m. KST) Donald Trump's term ends.

A minute later, Joe Biden will be sworn in on the steps of the Capitol and become the 46th President of the United States - a day under tight security with 25,000 National Guard troops deployed, two weeks after the violence of January 6.

While the threshold of 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus has just been exceeded across the Atlantic, only elected officials will be present, and the traditional parade will this time be virtual.

Donald Trump, he should leave the White House to go to Florida.

And will be the first president in more than 150 years to skip the nomination of his successor.

In his farewell speech on Tuesday, however, he wished "good luck" and assured that he "prayed" for the success of "the next administration".

The program of the day

Here are the schedules (in Paris time) of the main times of the day:

  • 5:30 p.m .: start of the ceremony, Lady Gaga sings the American anthem.

    Jennifer Lopez and country singer Garth Brooks are also announced.

  • Between 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m .: Kamala Harris is sworn in before Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

  • 6:00 p.m .: “I do solemnly swear…” Joe Biden is sworn in against Supreme Court boss John Roberts.

  • Between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m .: Joe Biden's inaugural address, which should last between 20 and 30 minutes and be centered on unity, in an America ravaged by the attack on the Capitol, racist violence and political divisions.

  • 8:00 p.m .: Ceremony at Arlington Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

    Joe and Jill Biden will be there, but also Barack and Michelle Obama, George and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    Without Donald and Melania Trump, then.

  • 9:00 p.m .: Military escort to accompany Joe Biden to the White House.

  • 9:15 p.m .: Virtual parade in the 56 American states and territories

  • 2:30 a.m. (Thursday): 90-minute prime time presented by Tom Hanks celebrating America's diversity, in the presence of Joe and Jill Biden, and Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff.

How to look?

The ceremony will be broadcast live on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

And a live-blog on offer on

20 Minutes

from 2:00 p.m.

Security: 25,000 soldiers of the National Guard mobilized

While the Capitol Police were completely overwhelmed on January 6, Washington is this time under siege.

Traffic was banned in the center of the US capital, and a 2.50m barrier covered with barbed wire and reinforced with concrete blocks was erected all around the Capitol.

Washington DC on high alert. @ AFP graphic on the main events and security plans for the January 20 inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice-president of the United States

- AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 19, 2021

25,000 soldiers of the National Guard are mobilized.

This is three times more than for the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017. The FBI carried out an immense background check (background check) and failed 12 soldiers, including two who had posted messages online sympathizing with militias of far right.

The Covid-19 effect: No crowds or prom

This time, there will be no debate on the size of the crowd present at the nomination.

Pandemic obliges, the only people present will be the American elected officials, with one guest per head at most, and journalists, that is to say a little more than 1,000 people.

The National Mall has been covered with 191,500 flags to represent all the Americans who can't be there.

The traditional balls have also been canceled.

Instead, we should be treated to performances by Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake.

Something to make Donald Trump jealous, who had to be content with Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down.

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