Inauguration Day in America is one of the most televised, closely-watched political events after an election year. That most certainly would have been the case this year, with President Donald Trump signaling a peaceful transfer of power to incoming President-elect Joe Biden.
According to the New York Post, Inauguration Day in 2021 is going to look quite a bit different than any Inauguration Day in U.S. history, with the congressional committee in charge of planning the day’s festivities abruptly canceling the inauguration luncheon after talking with Biden’s inauguration team, citing COVID-19 concerns.
Originally, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies team was fully prepared to pull off the event by using social distancing guidelines, masks and other protective cautions. But that all suddenly changed, reportedly after the meeting with Biden’s people.
“The health and safety of all guests attending the ceremonies has remained a top priority throughout the planning process,” said Paige Waltz, a spokesperson for the committee.
“The ceremony’s footprint will be extremely limited, and the parade that follows will be reimagined. The [committee] is urging the public to refrain from any travel and [to] participate in the inaugural activities from home,” the inaugural committee warned.
In a November report from the New York Post, incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain indicated that Biden’s inauguration would be “scaled-down,” presumably with the hopes of not turning into what the mainstream media loves to call a “superspreader event.”
“They’re going to try to have an inauguration that honors the importance and the symbolic meaning of the moment but also does not result in the spread of disease. That’s our goal,” Klain said.
During his inaugural speech, the former vice president is expected to urge those in attendance and those viewing from home to being the “100 days” of mask-wearing — an idea Biden touted repeatedly on the campaign trail as if it’s the golden ticket to ending the COVID-19 pandemic.