Tonight, all eyes are on the US as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office. After four years of the unexpected, it is hard to know what to expect in the last hours of Donald Trump's presidency.
The Capitol is on high alert after the riots earlier this month. The FBI is taking no chances and vetted 25,000 members of the National Guard who will be on duty to protect the inauguration. Twelve members have been removed because of ties to right wing extremists.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who supported Trump during his term, has blamed the president for the riot. "The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people," he said.
Biden has started on the road to reunite the nation at a memorial to mark the other crisis facing the US. More than 400,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the US. The US death toll from World War II was 405,399, the COVID death toll will surpass that figure by the weekend. "We must remember. It's hard sometimes to remember, but that's how we heal. It's important to do that as a nation," Biden said.
Trump has been silent on the death toll for many weeks, long before social media companies suspended his account. YouTube has banned the president for another week. "In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, the Donald J. Trump channel will be prevented from uploading new videos or livestreams for an additional minimum of seven days," the company said.
Rumours are circulating that Trump will use his final hours to pardon more of his backers. Steve Bannon, who was a key adviser in Trump's 2016 presidential run, was charged last year with swindling Trump supporters over an effort to raise private funds to build the president's wall on the US-Mexico border.
All of our ACM masthead's will have a live blog from midnight to follow the handing over of power and what ever else unfolds. Let's hope for no surprises. Although the biggest surprise will be if everything passes peacefully.
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