With the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden just three days away, an air of anxiety hovered over Washington and state capitals across the country, as they braced for the possibility of more violence after right-wing extremists stormed the Capitol this month in a bid to stop President Trump’s loss from being certified.
Posters on right-wing websites and social media have called for marches on Washington and the 50 State Capitols on Sunday. In recent days, however, some posters have discouraged people from turning out as officials have beefed up security, making it unclear what to expect in the run-up to the inauguration on Wednesday.
Thousands of National Guard troops have flooded into Washington and the Secret Service has announced a “green zone” in the city’s downtown, where streets were blocked by concrete barricades and military vehicles and police sirens blared on Saturday. Pentagon officials said that 15,000 National Guard members from all 50 states and three territories had arrived in Washington as of Sunday, with as many as 25,000 expected by Wednesday.
Federal officials said they planned to vet hundreds of possible airplane passengers, putting any identified among the violent protesters at the Capitol on Jan. 6 on a “no-fly list.” The Transportation Security Administration said it was increasing the number of federal marshals on flights and of explosive-detection dogs at airports.
Even as security officials remained on high alert for any sign of unrest, Mr. Biden was seeking to signal a sharp break from the Trump administration by announcing a series of quick executive actions planned for his first 10 days in office.
They include rescinding the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries, rejoining the Paris climate change accord, extending pandemic-related limits on evictions and student loan payments, issuing a mask mandate for federal property and interstate travel, and ordering agencies to figure out how to reunite children separated from families after crossing the border, according to a memo circulated on Saturday by Ron Klain, Mr. Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff, and obtained by The New York Times.
The blueprint of executive action came after Mr. Biden announced that he would push Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion package of economic stimulus and pandemic relief and after he unveiled a $20 billion “national vaccine program” devised to get “100 million Covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people” by his 100th day in office.
“You have my word,” Mr. Biden said in a speech on Friday in Wilmington, Del., “we will manage the hell out of this operation.”
Mr. Biden also introduced members of his White House science team on Saturday, promising to elevate scientific research and thinking on topics like the coronavirus and climate change.
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