Joe Biden says inaugural ceremony will be by and large virtual
05 Dec 2020
President-elect Joe Biden. File/AP
Gulf Today Report
The global coronavirus has taken its toll on many events, so much so that all international conferences are nowadays online.
Even high-profile political events have been hit. That also includes the inaugural ceremony of US President-elect Joe Biden. He has announced that his inauguration will be virtual, with the traditional pomp and ceremony replaced by an event more like the Democratic National Convention this summer.
Construction workers in Washington DC are already building the stage around the Capitol, but on Friday Biden said that it will be an inauguration unlike any other.
Instead, he said, attendance will be minimal, and with social distancing in place.
On Thursday Biden was asked by CNN whether he wanted Donald Trump — who is yet to concede — to attend his inauguration.
Biden said that, while he did not personally care whether his bitter rival was present, he felt 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