Daily US Times: Outgoing president Donald Trump has announced plans for an alternative presidential sendoff on the same day as Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Mr Trump has issued invites for an event taking place at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at 8am on the inauguration day – four hours before Biden will take his oath in Washington DC.
Details of the sendoff ceremony remain unclear, although attendees have been told to arrive by 7.15am. A 21-gun salute is under consideration, according to some reports, and officials are considering an elaborate event that would have the feel of a state visit. The outgoing president will then fly to Mar-a-Lago in his final use of Air Force One before the plane becomes at the regular disposal of Joe Biden.
Invitations for the event have been circulated to Mr Trump’s supporters, former administration officials and other allies. A smaller group of White House staff will see off the president from the White House earlier in the morning on his journey to Joint Base Andrews.
Strict security arrangements in place for the inauguration, following the 6 January Capitol riots in Washington by a pro-Trump supporters, have limited the number of people who can attend.
The invite for Donald Trump’s sendoff specifies that masks must be worn and that attendees are permitted to bring up to five guests.
Late last year, Trump was criticised for hosting a series of outdoor and indoor events at the White House where mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines were not enforced, leading to several high-profile Covid-19 cases, with the gatherings described as “superspreader” events.