- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 5, 2020

Joseph R. Biden anticipates his upcoming presidential inauguration will more closely resemble this year’s virtual Democratic National Convention than previous swearing-in ceremonies, he said Friday.

Citing safety concerns raised by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Biden said it is “highly unlikely” a million people will be on or around the National Mall on Inauguration Day next month.

“I think you’re going to see something that’s closer to what the convention was like than the typical inauguration,” Mr. Biden said while speaking to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware.

“First and foremost in my objective is to keep America safe but still allow people to celebrate,” said Mr. Biden continued. “To celebrate and see one another celebrate.”

Mr. Biden added his team has been consulting with people who helped put on this year’s DNC, as well as Republicans and Democrats in charge of next month’s inaugural festivities.

“My guess is there probably will not be a gigantic inaugural parade on down Pennsylvania Avenue, but my guess is you’ll see a lot of virtual activity in states all across America engaging even more people than before,” said Mr. Biden.

“The key is keeping people safe,” Mr. Biden stressed.

Dozens of speakers, performers and other guests participated in the August party convention, albeit remotely from various cities because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Biden is set to inaugurated Jan. 20, 2021, succeeding President Trump as a result of defeating the Republican incumbent in last month’s White House race. Mr. Trump has not yet conceded, however.

Speaking in his hometown of Wilmington, where he is preparing to take office, Mr. Biden implied Americans are eager to see the country move past the president’s refusal to admit defeat.

“People want to celebrate. People want to be able to say we’ve passed the baton, we’re moving on, democracy has functioned,” said Mr. Biden.

More than 1.5 million people are estimated to have attended the 2009 inauguration of former President Barack Obama and his running mate, Mr. Biden.

Noticeably fewer people attended Mr. Trump’s inauguration eight years later, contrary to his press secretary infamously asserting otherwise at the time.

Inauguration Day falls roughly one year since the first case of COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, was confirmed in the U.S.

More than 14 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 in the months since, including more than a quarter-million to later die from the disease.

COVID-19 is transmitted from person-to-person, and public health experts accordingly recommend people avoid large events and gathering in groups, among other practices.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide