WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris aim to take their oaths of office outside the U.S. Capitol building as inauguration planners seek to craft an event that captures the traditional grandeur of the historic ceremony while complying with COVID-19 protocols.
Biden's team released some broad details for the Jan. 20 event on Tuesday. One big unknown: Will President Donald Trump participate?
The president, who continues to make unproven claims of widespread voter fraud, has not yet told current and former White House aides whether he will attend Biden’s inauguration. While many had assumed he would skip the event after his loss, some now do expect him to make an appearance for the sake of tradition, even if he tries to overshadow the event by, perhaps, announcing the launch of his 2024 campaign just before.
Despite this week's rollout of the new vaccine, its availability to the general public is still months away. So Biden's team is urging supporters not to come to Washington, D.C., to celebrate the inauguration.
“The ceremony’s footprint will be extremely limited, and the parade that follows will be reimagined,” Biden's inaugural committee said in a statement.
Biden said Friday that a “gigantic inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue” was unlikely, although a big reviewing stand is being constructed in front of the White House.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Biden will deliver an inaugural address that “lays out his vision to beat the virus, build back better, and bring the country together,” the inaugural committee said.
The committee announced that Dr. David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, had been named as chief medical adviser for the inauguration.