On Wednesday, 20 January, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Devi Harris will take their oaths of office, instating Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America.
Amid rising COVID-19 cases and concern around possible violence, this inauguration is scheduled to be unlike any other in US Presidential history.
Typically, Congress would distribute over 200,000 tickets among its constituents, and non-ticketed folks would be encouraged to watch the events from the National Mall, as is tradition.
Barack Obama’s historical inaugural events drew more than 1 million attendees while Trump’s 2017 inauguration drew upwards of 300,000 people.
However, with this year’s security and health restrictions in place, Ajay Bhutoria, Vice Chair of the Biden Inauguration Committee, told The Quint that the 2021 inauguration will be reserved to members of Congress and their plus ones.
The inauguration is to reinforce its theme of 'America United'.
Biden-Harris are to take office amidst an unprecedented time in global and national history. 370,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19, and millions of others are reeling from the economic backlash caused by the global pandemic.
In addition, the storming of the US Capitol on 6 January was a further indication of the political divisiveness that has marked the presidential term of Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump.
“At a time of unprecedented crisis and deep divisions, ‘America United’ reflects the beginning of a new national journey that will restore the soul of America, and give fruition to Biden’s plans of bringing the country together, and creating a path to a brighter future,” Bhutoria told The Quint.
"This inauguration will be a transition point in the history of America, where America will look toward a new chapter in the lives of Americans,” he added.
Joe Biden will be sworn in on the steps in front of the west side of the Capitol building, the same place that became the symbol of insurrection and violence just a week prior.
A Virtual Parade
Unable to follow the tradition of an inaugural parade, Biden and Harris' inaugural committee is producing a television special for the night, allowing Americans to join the parade from their homes.
A 90-minute special, the event will be hosted by Hollywood icon Tom Hanks and will include live performances by Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, among other big industry names.
Bhutoria confirmed to The Quint that incumbent President, Donald Trump, will not be attending Biden's inaugural ceremony.
However, Vice President, Mike Pence, will be in attendance.
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