President-elect Joe Biden’s basement campaign was characterized by lackluster energy and small crowds and now it appears his swearing-in ceremony will be more of the same.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced in a press release Tuesday that on Jan. 20, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office at a downsized ceremony at the U.S. Capitol featuring “vigorous health and safety protocols.”
“The ceremony’s footprint will be extremely limited, and the parade that follows will be reimagined,” the release added.
“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,” the committee’s chief executive, Tony Allen, said.
Based on the description provided in the press release, it sounds like the inaugural event will be carried out much the way the virtual Democratic National Convention was earlier this year. The event featured mainly pre-recorded speeches and no crowds.
In order to keep crowd sizes small for the inauguration, the committee said that it is “urging the public to refrain from any travel and participate in the inaugural activities from home.”
“President-elect Biden’s unwavering commitment to the safety of the American people is our North Star as we plan an inauguration that protects public health while honoring inaugural traditions and engaging Americans across the country,” event director Maju Varghese added. “We are excited to share more information soon about the new and innovative ways all Americans can watch and participate in a historic inauguration that will unify our country.”
According to CNN, attendees at the event are expected to be required to wear masks and maintain social distance within “ticketed parameters.” The news outlet also noted that there is “ongoing discussion about requiring COVID-19 tests for anyone who will stand on the main platform near the President-elect, who is 78.”