Jan 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

D.C., Maryland, Virginia leaders urge Americans to stay home for inauguration

orkers hang the flags on the West Front facade in preparation for President-elect Joe Bidens inauguration at the Capitol

Workers hang flags on the west front facade of the Capitol in preparation of Biden's inauguration. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The leaders of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are urging Americans not to come to the area for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, and instead attend virtually.

Driving the news: The joint statement by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) comes as local and federal authorities ramp up security in the nation's capital after last week's deadly siege on the Capitol building by supporters of President Trump.

What they're saying: “Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the 59th Presidential Inauguration, including last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the extraordinary step of encouraging Americans not to come to Washington, D.C. and to instead participate virtually," Bowser, Hogan and Northam said Monday.

  • “In this very trying time, January 6 was a dark moment for our nation. But we know that we will get through this period because American ideals are stronger than one extreme ideology. Together, we will overcome extremism and get back to the work of our residents," they added.

The big picture: Federal authorities plan to lock down a massive area of downtown D.C. on Wednesday, six days earlier than originally planned.

  • Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who announced his resignation Monday, said the change was in light of "events of the past week and the evolving security landscape leading up to the inauguration and at the recommendation of Secret Service Director James Murray."
  • In years past, hundreds of thousands of people have traveled to D.C. for Inauguration Day.

Go deeper: Washington Monument closed over threats to disrupt Biden inauguration

Go deeper