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5 Things To Know On Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Posted at 7:03 AM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 07:08:11-05

While you were sleeping, we compiled the biggest stories of the day in one place. Each story has a quick and easy summary, so you're prepared for whatever the day brings. Just click on the links if you want to know more!

1. It's Inauguration Day: Trump arrives in Palm Beach, Biden sworn in
Join Michael Williams and our team of WPTV political experts for live streaming of President Donald Trump's arrival in Palm Beach County today at 11 a.m., followed by "The Inauguration of Joe Biden: An Interactive Experience" at 11:30 a.m.

You can watch on our website, app, Facebook page, Youtube page or your favorite streaming device.

Three new Democratic senators are set to be sworn into office after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Gerogia and Alex Padilla of California will give Democrats a working majority in the Senate

WPTV Online Special: Inauguration preview Day

2. Trump spends last hours in office pardoning Bannon, Treasure Coast doctor
President Trump granted pardons to 73 people and commuted the sentences of 70 more people.

Dr. Salomon Melgen, who operated eye clinic from Delray Beach to Port Saint Lucie, was convicted in 2018 of healthcare fraud and false statements. It was actually described by prosecutors as being connected to the biggest Medicare fraud in the nation's history. His sentence was commuted.

Dozens of others were granted clemency and pardons including Steve Bannon, Rapper Lil Wayne and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. President Trump and family members were not on the list of pardons released by the White House.

Trump pardons former strategist Steve Bannon, dozens of others

3. President Trump says goodbye and good 'luck'
Eschewing a traditional prime-time address to say goodbye to the nation, President Trump released a 20-minute prerecorded message to the nation on the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Trump is set to become the first sitting president in over a century to not attend the inauguration of his successor. Trump will instead have a ceremony for former staff at Joint Base Andrews Wednesday morning before departing for Florida.

Trump has yet to called the Biden administration by name, but he did wish the new administration luck.

4. Why did Palm Beach County's vaccine appointment portal fail?
The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County is still without an online portal to register for the COVID-19 vaccine, and Contact 5 has learned it's due in part to the software county health officials planned to use crashing in another county.

The county planned to use Microsoft Bookings for individuals to book vaccination appointments online. According to Microsoft's website, the Microsoft Bookings software "is an online and mobile app for small businesses who provide services to customers on an appointment basis."

All 67 Publix pharmacies in Palm Beach County will soon have the vaccine, as well as seven in Martin and two in Monroe counties. To make an appointment at a Publix in Florida, click here.

Software snafu behind lack of portal for COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Palm Beach County

5. US surpasses 400,000 deaths from COVID-19
The 400,000 U.S. deaths represent about 20% of all COVID-19 deaths worldwide. The U.S. population represents about 4% of the world's population.

More than 100,000 Americans have perished in the pandemic in just the past five weeks.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke Tuesday evening at a COVID-19 memorial at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool to honor the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the U.S. to COVID-19 over the past year.

Today's Forecast
Warming up this week:

Latest Weather Forecast: Wednesday 5 a.m.

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

On This Day In History
On Jan 20. 1981, the Iran Hostage Crisis ended. Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, the 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis.

In this Nov. 8, 1979 file photo, one of the hostages held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran is shown to the crowd by Iranian students. The 444-day hostage crisis that soured relations between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic for decades to come. (AP Photo, File)

Remember, you can join Mike Trim and Ashleigh Walters every weekday on WPTV NewsChannel 5 beginning at 4:30 a.m. And you can always watch the latest news from WPTV anytime on your favorite streaming device. Just search for "WPTV."