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US health secretary Alex Azar tells Trump he is resigning

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US health secretary Alex Azar tells Trump he is resigning
Copyright  Patrick Semansky/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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It's just days before Joe Biden becomes America's 46th president and the National Guard is out in full force around the Capitol where his inauguration will take place.

Washington’s National Mall is now closed to the public on the orders of the Secret Service.

After supporters of President Donald Trump overran the Capitol building ten days ago security is now extremely tight.

Last weekend the FBI warned that they're aware of plans for armed protests in all 50 of America's state capitals.

Defence Department officials are scrambling to call governors and asking whether they have any more National Guard troops they can send to Washington to help protect the Capitol and the city.

A defence official familiar with the discussions says law enforcement leaders and other authorities have now determined that they’ll need about 25,000 National Guard troops. And they say that number could still grow.

Meanwhile in the last days of his administration, President Trump's Health Secretary announced he will resign.

Alex Azar says he will resign at noon on January 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

In a letter to President Donald Trump, dated January 12 he wrote: "The attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power that the United States of America first brought to the world.''

He added: "I implore you to continue to condemn unequivocally any form of violence, to demand that no one attempt to disrupt the inaugural activities in Washington or elsewhere, and to continue to support unreservedly the peaceful and orderly transition of power on January 20.''

The two-page letter recited administration accomplishments that Azar said "the actions and rhetoric following the election ... threaten to tarnish.''

Whilst Azar has been in office over 390,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.

In another development, Trump's administration has overseen its thirteenth execution since July.

Dustin Higgs received a lethal injection this week at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

He was convicted of ordering the killings of three women in a Maryland wildlife refuge in 1996.

President Donald Trump's Justice Department resumed federal executions last year following a 17-year hiatus.

No president in more than 120 years has overseen as many federal executions.