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Biden inauguration ‘largely virtual occasion’

President-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office on January 20 on the steps of the US Capitol but the inaugural festivities will be largely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the planning committee says.

Both the ceremony and traditional parade that follows will have limited attendance and be re-imagined, the committee planning the event said in a statement.

The committee is urging members of the public to refrain from travelling to Washington DC for the inauguration, which in the past has drawn hundreds of thousands.

Biden spent much of the 2020 presidential election following COVID-19 safety protocols, holding relatively few-in person events and campaigning virtually from his home base in Delaware.

“Our goal is to create an inauguration that keeps people safe, honours the grand traditions of the presidency and showcases the Biden-Harris administration’s renewed American vision for an inclusive, equitable, and unified citizenry,” Tony Allen, the CEO of the inaugural committee, said.

In that way, the inaugural is likely to be similar to this year’s Democratic convention which featured virtual programs with participants across the US.

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