Live Updates: Biden heads to Washington as capital gears up for inauguration

Washington — President-elect Joe Biden left his home state of Delaware on Tuesday to travel to Washington, where he will be sworn in as president of the United States at Wednesday’s inauguration.

In an emotional farewell to his home state, Mr. Biden thanked his fellow Delawareans for jump-starting his political career and supporting him for decades.

“When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart and the hearts of all of us, all the Bidens,” he said, a nod to the words of the Irish poet James Joyce. “We love you all, you’ve been there for us in the good and the bad, you’ve never walked away, and I am proud, proud, proud, proud to be a son of Delaware.” 

Mr. Biden’s arrival in the nation’s capital came less than 24 hours before he is set to become the 46th president in an inauguration ceremony unlike any other in American history. Thousands of National Guard troops have descended on the nation’s capital to provide security for the swearing-in, essentially locking down much of downtown Washington less than two weeks after a violent pro-Trump mob swarmed the Capitol.

The coronavirus pandemic has likewise reshaped the festivities, with Americans urged to stay at home rather than attend in person. The National Mall is closed for the event, and instead features hundreds of thousands of small flags representing those who could not be on hand for the event.

Mr. Biden is set to honor the victims of COVID-19 in a memorial ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, President Trump is scheduled to depart Washington for Florida on Wednesday morning, following a farewell event at Joint Base Andrews. Mr. Trump is the first president in modern times not to attend the inauguration of his successor. 

He is expected to issue 100 pardons or commutations in the final hours of his presidency, a senior administration official and a senior White House official told CBS News.

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