There’s this, at least, after everything we’ve been through thus far in 2021: “After three COVID-19 breakouts within the White House in recent months, the federal government is sparing no expense to clean and disinfect the building before President-elect Biden moves in Jan. 20.”
That means more than $200,000 in contracts for janitorial services at the White House, “including $127,249 on ‘2021 Inaugural Cleaning’ and another $44,038 on ‘Inaugural carpet cleaning.'” They’ve even taken care of the drapes, at $29,523. Rather than making the regular White House staff do it, the Government Service Administration has contracted out for the work, for a super-duper deep clean, which like absolutely every other disaster wrought by Trump, has no precedent.
“We’ve never seen this before,” Kate Andersen Brower, a presidential historian and former White House reporter. “The Government Services Administration has said they’re going to do this very deep cleaning—cleaning every surface of the 55,000 square foot mansion. There’s always been a deep clean between administrations, but we’ve never seen anything like this.” For its part, GSA says it “will thoroughly clean and disinfect the building spaces between the administrations and ensure that everything is up to standard.” What that means: “all furniture, flooring, window treatments, handrails, door knobs, light switches, countertops, elevator buttons, restroom fixtures and dispensers, door handles and push plates, and lighting fixtures.”
Trump reportedly doesn’t intend to depart until January 20, just before President-elect Joe Biden moves in. The transition says the Biden intends to move in “on a traditional timeline,” which doesn’t give crews a great deal of time to deal with the residence, where Trump has been holed up with his fast food, hair dye, spray tan, coronavirus, and god knows what else for four years.
Former White House usher Gary Walters says traditionally “a very well-organized ballet choreography” of dozens of residence staff would sweep in during the 5-6 hours of inauguration ceremony, before the new occupants are in the building. They would presumably clean and bring in the Bidens’ personal belongings. But the COVID-19 safety protocols the Biden team has set might prevent that many staff from working and also Trump will have just left the residence. It’s going to take a minimum of 6 hours to deal with all that. The Bidens have both been vaccinated, so there’s that, but it still might be prudent for the Blair House to remain open to them for a few extra days, just in case.