President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in outside the United States Capitol building as grand opening planners seek to create an event that captures the traditional grandeur of the historic ceremony in compliance with Covid-19 protocols.
Biden’s team released some general details for the January 20 event on Tuesday. They are moving forward with the plans with no guarantee that outgoing President Donald Trump will attend.
The president, who continues to make unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud, has not yet told current and former White House aides whether he will attend Biden’s inauguration. While many had thought it would skip the event after its loss, some now expect it to show up for the sake of lore, although it tries to obscure the event, perhaps, by announcing the launch of its 2024 campaign shortly before.
Despite this week’s launch of the new vaccine, its public availability is still months away. Biden’s team is urging supporters not to come to Washington, DC, to celebrate the grand opening.
“The footprint of the ceremony will be extremely limited and the ensuing parade will be reinvented,” Biden’s inaugural committee said in a statement.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Biden will deliver an inaugural address that “exposes his vision to defeat the virus, better rebuild and reunite the country,” the statement said.
The committee announced that Dr. David Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, had been appointed chief medical adviser for the inauguration.
“The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on public health nationwide,” Kessler said. “We ask Americans to attend inaugural events from home to protect themselves, their families, friends and communities.” As it tries to maintain some of the event’s traditional milestones and envision new aspects of the pandemic era, the committee is turning to the same production team that managed this year’s Democratic National Convention. The features of that convention, such as the virtual appeal of each state, can be incorporated.
It is still unclear whether other traditional inaugural events will take place this time around, such as a luncheon with members of Congress or a pre-ceremony tea with the outgoing president.
Presidential face-to-face is in the air due to Trump’s ongoing maneuvers rather than any virus issues. The outgoing president still refuses to grant elections. When asked in a Sunday Fox News interview whether he would attend or attend, Trump said, “I don’t want to talk about this.” (AP) RUP RUP