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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

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.