President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration will feature a scaled-back crowd and a “reimagined” parade, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Though complete details are forthcoming, the Tuesday announcement said that President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office at the U.S. Capitol and the ceremony will include “vigorous health and safety protocols.” Biden will give a speech, per tradition, and he will focus on beating the coronavirus pandemic that forced the scaled-down event in the first place, as well as unifying the country. Attendance, according to the committee, will be “extremely limited” — the public is encouraged not to travel and, instead, to participate from home — and will be followed by that “reimagined” parade.
“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,” Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen said in a statement.
The methods by which the public can participate remotely will be announced in the coming weeks, according to the PIC, which is bringing on former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler as its chief medical adviser. The PIC said it has consulted with medical experts and hired a staff dedicated to the safety of the event.
“We are asking Americans to participate in inaugural events from home to protect themselves, their families, friends, and communities,” Kessler said, adding in a renewed call for people to social distance and wear masks every day as the pandemic continues.
Stephanie Cutter and Ricky Kirshner are also joining as executive producers of the inaugural events, while Rod O’Connor is joining the team as a senior adviser. The trio has helped produce other major events like the Super Bowl halftime shows, the Tony Awards, the Democratic National Conventions and past presidential inaugurations.
It is not immediately clear whether Donald Trump will host the Bidens for coffee or tea at the White House ahead of the inauguration, as is the tradition for an outgoing and incoming president, or if members of Congress will gather for a luncheon after Biden and Harris are sworn in.