Biden Urges Staying Home for ‘Extremely Limited’ Inauguration

President-elect Joe Biden is asking Americans to stay home to mark his inauguration on Jan. 20 and will instead hold an “extremely limited” swearing-in ceremony to avoid spreading coronavirus.

After consulting with public health officials, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will not hold the traditional mass gathering on the National Mall. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office at the U.S. Capitol, but the ceremony will include “vigorous health and safety protocols.”

“Our goal is to create an inauguration that keeps people safe, honors the grand traditions of the presidency, and showcases the Biden-Harris administration’s renewed American vision for an inclusive, equitable and unified citizenry,” inaugural Chief Executive Officer Tony Allen said in a statement.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in April that mass gatherings be canceled due to the risk of spreading the coronavirus, and the Democratic and Republican conventions were held mostly virtually this year, except for the acceptance speeches by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, which were held outdoors with large crowds.

The committee also announced the traditional parade following the inauguration from the Capitol to the White House will be “reimagined,” but released few other details about how Biden will deliver his inaugural address.

Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration head David Kessler has joined the inaugural committee as medical adviser. Ricky Kirshner, who has been the executive producer of the Tony Awards, the Super Bowl halftime show and the Kennedy Center Honors, and former Barack Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter will serve as executive producers.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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