The quadrennial inauguration of a president generally draws hundreds of thousands of people to the Washington Mall in DC. But in January, President-elect Joe Biden expects that number to be much lower.
As the inauguration stage is being built outside the US Capitol, Biden said he expects his inauguration to look akin to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which was held virtually.
"First and foremost in my objective is to keep America safe but still allow people to celebrate," Biden said. "To celebrate and see one another celebrating."
Some other traditional elements to Inauguration Day, like the parade and balls, appear to be scrapped.
“There will probably not be a gigantic inaugural parade,” Biden said.
Other Inauguration Day events, such as the signing ceremony and luncheon the new president has with congressional leaders, are still unknown. As of now, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is unaware of any restrictions related to the pandemic. Those wishing to get a spot to view Biden’s inauguration can still request tickets to the event through their member of Congress.
Another sign that the pomp and circumstance of this year’s inauguration will look different is this could be the first time in US history that a presidential inauguration fails to result in a peaceful transfer of power. Outgoing President Donald Trump has continued to allege the election was stolen from him despite dozens of failed lawsuits and no formal prosecutions of widespread fraud.
It has been a long-standing tradition that the incoming and outgoing president meet at the White House and travel to the Capitol together before the inauguration.
Trump has suggested that Biden would only be able enter the White House after the inauguration if he can “prove” he received 81 million votes.
Three weeks ago, a joint statement released by federal and state officials described the presidential election as the “most secure in American history.”
In response to the letter, Trump fired US election security head Chris Krebs.
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Biden said he is hopeful Trump will attend the inauguration.
"I think it would be important only in one sense, not in a personal sense, important in the sense that we are able to demonstrate the end of this chaos that he's created, that there is peaceful transfer of power with the competing parties standing there, shaking hands and moving on,” Biden said.