It all adds up to an inauguration unlike any other, with no crowds in DC and security to the maximum across the country.
DC Police Chief Robert Contee said on Wednesday that more than 20,000 National Guard members could be expected in the District for Biden’s inauguration, though he noted the final numbers will be provided by the US Secret Service.
The officials added that there is no concern that there will be any shortage of Guard forces to meet requirements from the 50 States and the District of Columbia.
Contee told reporters he remains concerned amid a “major security threat” ahead of the inauguration and planned demonstrations in the District this weekend.
“I’ve been concerned before today and will be through this weekend, and beyond,” Contee said on Wednesday.
He also praised DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s security posture, including discouraging people from coming to DC for the inauguration.
“There’s a major security threat, and we are working to mitigate those threats,” he added.
Bowser said Wednesday she was trying to convince the US Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to cancel public gathering permits and deny future applications during the period through the inauguration.
How states are preparing
States across the country are enhancing security and calling in the National Guard to protect Capitol buildings ahead of the possible protests, including in Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
A number of states are deploying heavy fencing and additional crowd control measures around their Capitol buildings, including in Arizona, California, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Virginia and Washington, while Pennsylvania has built barriers and increased security.
Although many Capitol buildings are closed due to coronavirus restrictions, the warnings are particularly fraught in states that allow people to openly carry firearms and those where Trump has falsely claimed fraud.
“The state capitol is not safe,” attorney general Dana Nessel said.
In Oregon, the FBI has set up a command post to gather and share intelligence with law enforcement on potential threats of violence to the state Capitol.
In Florida and Oklahoma, lawmakers and staff are being told to work from home this weekend due to the likelihood of protests. Utah is also closing its Capitol building due to planned protests. In Wisconsin and Virginia, workers have boarded up their capitol’s first-floor windows ahead of potential protests.
Several big states are also on high alert. In New York, state police have taken steps “to harden security in and around the State Capitol in Albany” ahead of Biden’s inauguration. And in California, fencing has been deployed around the Capitol, where the governor says there is a “heightened, heightened level of security” and the National Guard could be deployed.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Alison Main, Nicky Robertson, Barbara Starr and Ryan Nobles contributed to this report.