Donald Trump, the outgoing US President, has declared a state of emergency on the country’s capital, Washington D.C. days before the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President.
The declaration was made after D.C. Mayor, Muriel Bowser, over the weekend asked Trump to issue an emergency declaration amid concerns about potential threats to the inauguration on 20 January after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly and violent attack last week Wednesday.
The emergency takes immediate effect and will last till 24 January, four days after the inaguration.
Trump’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance for emergency actions under the Stafford Act.
“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.
“Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 100 per cent Federal funding,” the declaration released by the White House Monday evening read.
Following the declaration, the DHS announced it is starting a National Special Security Event operations six days earlier than planned, starting from Wednesday. The designation allows security agencies to work together on protective measures such as road closures.
More than 10,000 National Guard troops will be the capital by the weekend, with about 5,000 more available if requested, promised Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Daniel Hokanson.
Trump has been widely criticized for inciting violence that led to the riots last week. He encouraged his supporters to come to D.C. last Wednesday – the day Congress met to officials count the Electoral College votes affirming Biden’s win – to protest the presidential election results.
Before the riots, Trump delivered an address to the crowd repeating his false claim that he won the election, urging them to “fight” and directing them toward the Capitol.
The riots have led to at least five deaths and delayed the counting of the Electoral College votes, which was completed last Thursday.
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