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The US Secret Service agent in charge of securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration said that there is no comparison between the security at this event and last week’s Capitol breach, the Associated Press reported.
Michael Plati told the AP that because the inauguration is designated a “national special security event,” measures are far more controlled than the circumstances around the “Save America” rally of January 6, which ended in a deadly riot.
On January 6, President Donald Trump had encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol to protest Biden’s certification. That march became violent as protesters stormed the building, ransacked offices, and attacked Capitol Police officers. A total of five people died as a result of the riot.
Despite advance notice of the protests, Capitol Police were left understaffed that day, as Insider’s Ashley Collman reported, and numerous questions still remain about security provision.
But according to the AP, Plati has said that the inauguration is of a completely different order.
“I don’t want to use the expression that we’re comparing apples to oranges,” he said, but he noted that Biden’s inauguration is an event that is planned months in advance, with scaled-up resources.
The “national special security event” designation, originally due to come into force on January 19, has been moved to January 13 due to the Capitol breach, the AP reported.
This allows access to funding and coordination between agencies such as the Capitol Police, the Pentagon, Homeland Security, and District of Columbia police, the AP reported.
Other measures will include police checkpoints, metal detectors, and fencing, the AP reported. Ten thousand National Guard troops will also be in place by Sunday, the agency said.
Other events that get similar treatment include the Super Bowl, the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and the State of the Union, according to the AP.
Read more:Could Trump mass-pardon his supporters who rioted at the Capitol? He has the power, and there is historical precedent.
For security reasons, Plati told the AP he could not go into the full details of the event, or say how the Capitol siege has informed the Secret Service’s planning.
But he did say of the Capitol riot: “It’s a poignant reminder of what can happen,” the AP reported.
Biden has signaled that he wants to take the oath on the same risers that Capitol rioters breached last week, telling reporters on Monday: “I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside, and we’ve been getting briefed.”
His inauguration — a ticketed event — has been planned with the coronavirus pandemic in mind, limiting numbers to 2,000 socially-distanced people and making a heavy emphasis on a virtual parade instead.
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Source:: Business Insider