The US government will spend almost $500,000 on a deep clean of the White House before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20, CNN reported, citing government contracts it had viewed.
The building has been the center of three COVID-19 outbreaks.
A deep clean between administrations is expected – but contracting extra companies to help at this scale is unprecedented in modern times, presidential historian Kate Brower Andersen told ABC.
“There’s always been a deep clean between administrations, but we’ve never seen anything like this,” she told ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.
The contracts for janitorial and housekeeping work include $127,249 on “2021 Inaugural Cleaning,” $44,038 on carpet cleaning, and $29,523 on curtain cleaning, CNN reported.
A deep clean between presidents is usually carried out by White House staff in the six-hour slot when both the incoming and outgoing presidents are at the inauguration ceremony. Alongside cleaning the property, the workforce of up to 100 White House staff carry out small maintenance jobs.
The White House has 132 rooms spread over six stories. This includes 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, and 28 fireplaces.
The $127,249 contract was awarded to Virginia-based company Didlake, which helps people with disabilities find employment, CNN reported.
The paperwork viewed by CNN also included a $115,000 contract to replace and install new carpeting in numerous offices in the White House’s West Wing and East Wing alongside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
The government also agreed contracts of $37,975 to remove trash and recycling and $53,000 for painting and wall coverings, CNN reported, as well as $50,000 in overtime pay for those moving Biden’s belongings to the property.
Biden’s inauguration ceremony on January 20 will be like no other.
President Donald Trump has said he won’t be attending, making him the first departing president since 1869 to refuse to attend his successor’s inauguration.
The inauguration will be marked by a mix of virtual and in-person activities because of the pandemic. Typically, hundreds of thousands of people travel to Washington, DC, for the ceremony, but this year only about 2,000 attendees will be permitted.
The celebrations will include performances by singers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, remarks from Father Leo J. O’Donovan, a longtime friend of the Biden family, and a benediction from Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, also a close confidante of the Bidens.
In the evening, Biden and Vice president-elect Kamala Harris will address the nation in a live television broadcast hosted by actor Tom Hanks and featuring further celebrity performances.
But despite the plans for peaceful celebrations, an FBI bulletin has warned that Trump supporters are planning “armed protests” at the US Capitol and all 50 state capitols leading up to Biden’s inauguration.
A rehearsal for the inauguration ceremony was postponed because of security concerns, Politico reported.
culled from yahoonews