Joe Biden says his inauguration will be mostly virtual

The 20 January ceremony will be unlike any other, Joe Biden has said

Harriet Alexander
Saturday 05 December 2020 02:06
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<p>Joe Biden, pictured on Friday, announced that his inauguration would be mostly virtual</p>

Joe Biden, pictured on Friday, announced that his inauguration would be mostly virtual

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Joe Biden has announced that his inauguration will be mostly virtual, with the traditional pomp and ceremony replaced by an event more like the Democratic National Convention this summer.

Mr Biden, 78, will be sworn in on 20 January.

Construction workers in Washington DC are already building the stage around the Capitol, but on Friday Mr Biden said that it will be an inauguration unlike any other.

He said not to expect the crowds along the mall, or the masses of politicians and well wishers crammed into the Capitol’s rooms.

Instead, he said, attendance will be minimal, and with social distancing in place.

On Thursday Mr Biden was asked by CNN whether he wanted Donald Trump — who is yet to concede — to attend his inauguration.

Mr Biden that, while he did not personally care whether his bitter rival was present, he felt Mr Trump's attendance was "important in a sense that we are able to demonstrate at the end of this chaos — that he's created — that there is a peaceful transfer of power with the competing parties standing there, shaking hands, and moving on".

Inaugurations are steeped in tradition, much of which may be abandoned this year due to the pandemic.

Traditionally the outgoing president invites the incoming president to the White House for tea and then the two travel together to the inauguration service.

The outgoing president then leaves Washington, DC, at the end of the service, marking the beginning of the next president's first term.

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