Biden urges Americans to sit out inauguration to stop spread of coronavirus
“The pandemic is continuing to have a significant public health impact across the nation,” Dr. David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, and newly appointed chief medical adviser for the inauguration, said in a statement. “We are asking Americans to participate in inaugural events from home to protect themselves, their families, friends, and communities.”
The auspicious occasion for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, where they will take their oaths of office, is slated to take place outside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 20.
Usually a day filled with pomp and pageantry, with thousands of supporters and onlookers near the National Mall, Biden’s team is now weighing whether ceremonial aspects, such as a luncheon with members of Congress or a pre-ceremony tea with the outgoing president, will happen this time.
“The ceremony’s footprint will be extremely limited, and the parade that follows will be reimagined,” Biden’s inaugural committee said in a statement.
The committee is collaborating with the production team that planned the Democratic National Convention. They are thinking of incorporating features similar to the election event, such as the virtual roll call from every state.
Meanwhile, President Trump has yet to announce if he will even attend the event, telling Fox News in an interview on Sunday: “I don’t want to talk about that.”
Trump has yet to accept the results of the election even as the Electoral College confirmed Biden’s win on Monday.
Trump has floated the idea of announcing another run for the presidency in 2024 on the morning of Biden’s inauguration, in an apparent attempt to usurp the incoming president’s big day.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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