President-Elect Joe Biden received his second dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine Monday as he prepares to take the oath of office on January 20.
History buffs will find little in common between the inauguration of Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris next Wednesday and any previous transfer of power. In contrast to the massive crowds that typically attend presidential swearing-in ceremonies, USA Today reports that attendance at this year’s event will be extremely limited.
“Parade viewing stands have been dismantled near the White House to discourage crowds; inaugural balls have been cancelled; and health officials are urging people not to travel and attend.
“Instead of thousands of people gathering on the National Mall for the festivities, the traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue will be replaced by a virtual parade that will be televised, the Presidential Inaugural Committee has announced,” the newspaper said.
Following the ceremony, Biden, Harris and their spouses travel to Arlington National Ceremony for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They will be joined by former presidents Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton and their wives.
To replace the traditional inaugural balls and celebrations, actor Tom Hanks will headline a star-studded TV special called Celebrating America Wednesday evening. The program will also feature performances by Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons, and Bon Jovi.
“This inauguration presents a unique opportunity to spotlight the resilience and spirit of an America United,” said the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s CEO Tony Allen in a statement Wednesday.
“We have witnessed countless heroes this past year step up to the frontlines and serve their fellow Americans, so we are telling their stories, spreading their collective light, and celebrating the best of our country and its people with this primetime program.