Biden plans scaled-back inaugural in pandemic

By Dave Goldiner
New York Daily News/TNS

No one is going to be bragging about the crowd size at this inauguration.

President-elect Joe Biden is urging Americans to stay home on Jan. 20 as his inaugural committee plans a dramatically scaled-back celebration amid the raging coronavirus pandemic.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office from the steps of the Capitol as President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama did before them.

But almost everything else will be totally different from past years, starting with the notable lack of any crowds whatsoever.

“We realize the moment that we’re in as it relates to the pandemic, so we’re leaning into doing things very different this time,” said Maju Varghese, executive director of the inaugural committee, told the Washington Post.

The parade that usually sees the new president roll through the streets of Washington, D.C., will be “reimagined” much like other in-person mass events that have been created for TV audiences.

The inaugural committee has appointed a chief health officer who will make calls on which traditional events can go ahead during the pandemic and which ones must be scrapped to prevent spreading COVID-19.

“We are asking Americans to participate in inaugural events from home to protect themselves, their families, friends and communities,” said David Kessler, the health officer.

US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Electoral college certification at the Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware on Dec. 14, 2020.