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CORONAVIRUS CASUALTIES (Feb 21):- GLOBAL:- Total Cases: 11,17,07,442; Total Deaths: 24,73,463 Recovered: 8,68,78,799 BELGIUM:- Total Cases: 7,52,379; Total Deaths: 21,887 BRAZIL:- Total Cases: 1,01,39,148; Total deaths: 2,46,006 CANADA:- Total Cases: 8,43,301; Total Deaths: 21,630 CHINA:- Total Cases: 89,831 ; Total Deaths: 4,636 FRANCE:- Total Cases: 35,83,135; Total Deaths: 84,147 GERMANY:- Total Cases: 23,88,417 Total Deaths: 68,343 INDIA:- Total Cases: 1,09,91,651; Total Deaths: 1,56,339 INDONESIA:- Total Cases: 12,78,653; Total Deaths: 34,489 IRAN:- Total Cases: 15,66,081; Total Deaths: 59,409 ITALY:- Total Cases: 27,95,796; Total Deaths: 95,486 JAPAN:- Total Cases: 4,23,311; Total Deaths: 7,333 MEXICO:-Total Cases: 20,38,276; Total Deaths: 1,79,797 NETHERLANDS:- Total Cases: 10,51,965; Total Deaths: 15,200 PHILIPPINES:- Total Cases: 5,61,169; Total Deaths: 12,088 RUSSIA:- Total Cases: 41,64,726; Total Deaths: 83,293 S KOREA:- Total Cases: 86,992; Total Deaths: 1,557 SPAIN:-Total Cases: 31,33,122; Total Deaths: 67,101 SWEDEN:- Total Cases: 6,31,166 Total Deaths: 12,649 SWITZERLAND:-Total Cases: 5,47,775; Total Deaths: 9,886 UAE:- Total Cases: 3,68,175; Total Deaths: 1,108 UK:- Total Cases: 41,05,675; Total Deaths: 1,20,365; US:- Total Cases: 2,87,06,473; Total Deaths: 5,09,875 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Tight security for US President-elect Biden's inauguration
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in at 12 noon Wednesday at the West Front of the Capitol building. The transition will be marked by incumbent President Trump's absence.

WASHINGTON, Jan 19: The incumbent US President Donald Trump's term ends at 12 noon Wednesday when the newly-elected Joe Biden will be sworn in in the background of a devastating pandemic that has claimed 400,000 American lives so far and still counting high, as also the gripping violence and rampage of the Capitol that was inspired and incited by Trump who lost his November 3 re-election but claimed for no rhyme or reason his election was "stolen" and tried to physically overturn the results for months obsessively in a manner that bordered on the schezotypal.

In the US tradition, the President-elect's inauguration involves mainly two parts: The first is the swearing-in that is a universal constitutional procedure; the second, unique to America, is a ceremony and celebration that is mostly planned by the new team.

Washington DC, especially the Capitol, has been put under a thick cloak of security bundobast in view of the January 6 episode as also the likelihood of fresh violence forewarned by the FBI. Even the 25,000 National Security Guards deployed in the city are being checked by the secret service personnel, leaving nothing to chance. The FBI apprehends 'insider attack'.

Ahead of the inaugural function starting at 11:30 am EST (16:30 GMT), Biden arrived in the Capital on Tuesday evening and was staying overnight at Blair House across the street from the Capitol.

There is fear in the air even as Trump was about to quit White House and move bag and baggage to his club residence, Mar-a-Lago mansion, in Florida's Palm Beach, in the morning without attending Biden's inauguration, as he had indicated long since, and transferring power to him formally. He is likely to take Air Force One from Andrews for the last time, so also the Marine One for shuttle. One report says the last time a President abstained from an inauguration was in 1869: President Andrew Johnson. However, Trump on Tuesday released a farewell message "wishing success" to the new Administration, not naming Biden as usual, and stating,-"We did what we came here to do," and concluding the message with "The best is yet to come." Melania Trump, the FLOTUS, too had addressed the Americans in a farewell video earlier.

There was no invitation to Biden for the traditional pre-inauguration meeting at the White House. So also Jill Biden was not taken around the living quarters of the White House by Melania before vacating, as is the convention.

As the usual tens of thousands of spectators will not be present because of covid, the Presidential Inaugural Committee has put up 200,000 national flags at the National Mall to stand in for the crowds (not for the dead in the pandemic who are over 400,000 as reported in some media) that were to converge on the Capital from all across the country.

  • Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) CEO Tony Allen has listed the participants of the 59th inaugural ceremonies:- Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Amanda Gorman, and others to join the inaugural ceremony on the West Front of the US Capitol.
  • The following will be part of the inaugural swearing-in ceremony: Invocation – Father Leo J. O’Donovan; Pledge of Allegiance – Andrea Hall; National Anthem – Lady Gaga ; Poetry Reading – Amanda Gorman; Musical Performance – Jennifer Lopez; Benediction – Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman.
  • 12 noon: President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in on the West front of the US Capitol building. After they take their oaths of office, President-elect Biden will deliver an inaugural address laying out his vision to defeat the pandemic, build back better and unify and heal the nation.
  • Following the ceremony, the President-elect, First Lady, Vice President-elect, and Second Gentleman will participate in a Pass in Review on the East front with members of the military. Pass in Reviews are a long-standing military tradition that reflect the peaceful transfer of power to a new Commander-in-Chief.
  • 2 pm: The President-elect, Dr. Biden, the Vice President-elect, and Emhoff will visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They will be joined by ex-President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, ex-President George W Bush and Laura Bush and ex-President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
  • 3 pm: President-elect Biden will receive a Presidential Escort from 15th Street to the White House with every branch of the military will be represented in the escort, including The U.S. Army Band, a Joint Service Honor Guard, and the Commander- in-Chief’s Guard and Fife and Drum Corps from the 3rd U.S. Infantry “The Old Guard.”
  • The Presidential Escort to the White House will be followed by a “Parade Across America."

Ways to watch the 59th Presidential inauguration;- YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Amazon Prime Video, Alexa-enabled devices, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, AT&T U-verse (Channel 212/1212 in SD/HD), AT&T DIRECTV (Channel 201).

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