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

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserMaskless DC Mayor Bowser won't save herself with a media attack Feehery: Making DC's local government more accountable Philip Wegmann: 'People just aren't going to care' about mask mandate after maskless Bowser photo MORE (D) on Monday discouraged Americans from traveling to participate in President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries FDA aims to give full approval to Pfizer vaccine by Labor Day: report Overnight Defense: Police officer killed in violence outside Pentagon | Biden officials back repeal of Iraq War authorization | NSC pushed to oversee 'Havana Syndrome' response 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 WolfCongress needs to reform the Vacancies Act to keep the business of government on stable footing Trump, on trip with GOP, slams 'sick' state of US-Mexico border Texas Democrats representing border districts slam Trump visit 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 TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election 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.