Biden, Harris to Be Sworn into Office in Largely Virtual Event Next Month

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in on January 20 on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, but the opening ceremony will be largely virtual as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the planning committee said on Tuesday.

Both the ceremony and traditional parade that follows will have limited attendance and be reimagined, the committee planning the event said in a statement. The committee is urging members of the public to refrain from traveling to Washington for the inauguration, which in the past has drawn hundreds of thousands, reports US News.

Biden spent much of the 2020 presidential election on the basis of the Covid-19 safety measures, attending very few personal activities and campaigning practically from his home base in Delaware.

"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,” Tony Allen, the CEO of the inaugural committee, said in the statement.

In this way, the inaugural is likely to be similar to last summer's Democratic Convention, which featured virtual programs with participants around the country.

The pandemic that scientists expect to escalate in the United States during the winter months, despite the approval of the vaccine, killed more than 300,000 Americans. Biden made the handling of the health crisis by President Donald Trump the centerpiece of his campaign.

It remains unclear whether Trump, who has refused to acknowledge his loss to Biden despite an Electoral College vote on Monday that affirmed the Democrat's victory, will attend Biden’s swearing-in ceremony or meet with him at the White House, as is custom.

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