With america reaching a once-unthinkable coronavirus pandemic dying toll of 400,000 folks on Tuesday, the eve of his inauguration as president, Joseph R. Biden Jr. is assuming the position of mourner in chief and projecting an air of command of the problem that has vexed the Trump administration for the previous 12 months.
The president-elect arrived within the nation’s capital Tuesday night for a somber inauguration-eve ceremony on the Lincoln Memorial, the place 400 lights had been illuminated alongside the perimeter of the reflecting pool. Every is supposed to characterize roughly 1,000 Individuals who’ve died through the pandemic.
On Monday night time, as President Trump ordered an end to the ban on travelers from Europe and Brazil that had been aimed toward stopping the unfold of the coronavirus to america, Mr. Biden’s aides mentioned he would rescind the transfer when he takes workplace on Wednesday, earlier than it was scheduled to enter impact.
Mr. Trump’s order was issued at a time of heightened anxiousness over the coronavirus and what Mr. Biden has warned shall be a “darkish winter.” The nation has skilled a post-holidays surge in instances that has overwhelmed some hospitals and led to record numbers of deaths. The nationwide vaccination rollout has been sluggish and chaotic. And a extra contagious virus variant is spreading, whereas others are being found.
Mr. Biden has declared getting management of the pandemic the central subject of his administration, and has been extremely vital of how his predecessor dealt with the worst public well being disaster in additional than 100 years.
Mr. Trump, in a proclamation, mentioned that the journey restrictions, which apply to noncitizens attempting to come back to america, would not be wanted on Jan. 26, as soon as the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention begin requiring proof of a negative virus test before boarding for all passengers from overseas.
The proclamation seemed to be an effort to assist the airline and hospitality industries.
Mr. Trump wrote that Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of well being and human providers, had advisable ending the restrictions for many elements of Europe and Brazil, whereas sustaining them for Iran and China, which Mr. Trump mentioned had not been cooperative.
Jennifer Psaki, who shall be Mr. Biden’s White Home press secretary, mentioned the brand new administration wouldn’t enable the directives to take impact.
“With the pandemic worsening, and extra contagious variants rising around the globe, this isn’t the time to be lifting restrictions on worldwide journey,” she tweeted.
In Washington, the Tuesday night time occasion on the Lincoln Memorial kicked off “a nationwide second of unity” at 5:30 p.m. Japanese that may embody related commemorations on the Empire State Constructing in New York, the House Needle in Seattle and different landmarks, with occasions additionally deliberate for Mr. Biden’s hometowns, Scranton, Pa., and Wilmington, Del.
The inaugural committee’s chief govt, Tony Allen, the president of Delaware State College, mentioned in an announcement that the inauguration “represents the start of a brand new nationwide journey — one which renews its dedication to honor its fallen and rise towards higher heights of their honor.”
Michael D. Shear and Glenn Thrush contributed reporting.