White House view from Washington Monument
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Breaking News: Elaine Chao to Resign as Secretary of Department of Transportation of the United States

Elaine Chao is the current secretary of the Department of Transportation of the United States — but not for long, as her resignation becomes effective as of January 11, 2021 because of what happened at the Capitol building in the District of Columbia yesterday, Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

Breaking News: Elaine Chao to Resign as Secretary of Department of Transportation of the United States

As per this message which was posted to her official Twitter account:

Dear Department of Transportation colleagues:

Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed. As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.

I am tremendously proud of the many accomplishments we were able to achieve together for our country and I will never forget the commitment you have for this Department and the United States of America. I am hopeful that many of you will carry forward our vision to improve the lives of Americans through this Department and beyond.

Today, I am announcing my resignation as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, to take effect on Monday, January 11, 2020. We will help my announced successor Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with taking on the responsibility of running this wonderful department. With all good wishes to each one of you.

Sincerely,

Elaine

Pete Buttigieg — who is the former mayor of South Bend in Indiana and a former candidate for the office of the president of the United States — was named as the nominee for secretary of the Department of Transportation of the United States by Joseph Biden on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. Biden will take office as the new president of the United States on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

Muriel Bowser — who is the current mayor of the District of Columbia — ordered a 12-hour curfew in the city which began that evening.

Posted to his official Twitter account is this message:

Words have consequences, especially the words of a president and his allies. Today those consequences include violent rioters attacking our Capitol to overthrow the American democratic process. This must end, and democracy must prevail.

As many as four people died — one woman was fatally shot by United States Capitol police and three other people died in what have been called medical emergencies — when hundreds of rioters swarmed the Capitol building in the District of Columbia yesterday, Wednesday, January 6, 2021, which forced the Senate to evacuate the building. Supporters of Donald Trump breached barricades to abruptly pause a ceremonial event which affirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the November election, as they believe that Biden “stole” the office from the current president. Donald Trump has yet to concede, claiming that he actually won the election back in November of 2020.

Joseph Biden was named as the winner of the 2020 presidential election this morning, Thursday, January 7, 2021, as confirmation of the results of the Electoral College by members of Congress.

Summary

The mission of the Department of Transportation of the United States — which was established by an act of Congress on Saturday, October 15, 1966 and whose first official day of operation was Saturday, April 1, 1967 — is to ensure America has the safest, most efficient and modern transportation system in the world, which boosts our economic productivity and global competitiveness and enhances the quality of life in communities both rural and urban. Commercial airlines are included as part of that mission.

Although it was mostly symbolic as she will soon be replaced by Pete Buttigieg anyway, Elaine Chao sent a message as to how unacceptable were the events at the Capitol building in the District of Columbia by announcing her formal resignation.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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