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DC mayor asks Americans to participate in Biden inauguration 'virtually'

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserDC resumes indoor dining at 25 percent capacity Inauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 Biden's inauguration unprecedented in US history MORE (D) on Monday discouraged Americans from traveling to participate in President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE’s inauguration next week as the city grapples with high coronavirus infections and concerns of potential violence.

“Our goals right now are to encourage Americans to participate virtually and to protect the District of Columbia from a repeat of the violent insurrection experienced at the Capitol and its grounds" on Jan. 6, Bowser said at a news conference on Monday.

Bowser’s remarks reflected growing concerns about security around Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, leaving five dead, including a Capitol police officer. 

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The Presidential Inaugural Committee has already urged Americans to avoid traveling to D.C. for the inauguration and to instead watch the activities from their homes. The event is being organized to have a much smaller footprint than usual in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

Over the weekend, Bowser sent a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus ICE acting director resigns weeks after assuming post Ex-DHS chief says Trump bears some responsibility for Capitol riots: 'What he says matters' MORE asking that the special security event period surrounding the inauguration be extended to run from Jan. 11 to Jan. 24. 

She has also asked that President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE make a pre-disaster declaration in order to get additional federal assistance quickly to support preparations for the inauguration. 

“We believe strongly that the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection,” Bowser wrote in the letter to Wolf on Saturday.

Bowser has also asked the Interior Department to cancel public gathering permits and deny further permit applications for the period between Jan. 11 and Jan. 24. 

Meanwhile, House Democrats on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with inciting the mob to carry out the violent attack last week.