Biden Inauguration Stresses Public Health Safety During Ceremonies

President-elect Joe Biden’s Presidential Inaugural Committee announced measures Tuesday to protect public health during an inauguration that will take place in the midst of a coronavirus crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the United States. The committee said in a statement it is collaborating with the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies “to ensure that the inauguration … honors and resembles sacred American traditions while keeping Americans safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19.” On January 20, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take oaths of office at the U.S. Capitol with “vigorous health and safety protocols,” followed by Biden’s inaugural address, the committee said.  “The ceremony’s footprint will be extremely limited, and the parade that follows will be reimagined,” it added. President-elect Joe Biden speaks after the Electoral College formally elected him as president, Dec. 14, 2020, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del.The committee is calling on Americans to remain at home as they celebrate the day’s inaugural activities. “The pandemic is continuing to have a significant public health impact across the nation. Americans everywhere must do their part to slow the spread of the virus: wear masks, stay home and limit gatherings. We are asking Americans to participate in inaugural events from home to protect themselves, their families, friends and communities,” said Dr. David Kessler, the committee’s chief medical adviser. President Donald Trump’s presence at the inauguration has yet to be determined. When asked during an interview broadcast Sunday with Fox News if he would attend the ceremony, Trump, still waging an unsuccessful battle to overturn election results, replied, “I don’t want to talk about that.”  As it has for months, the U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus infections and related deaths. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 16.5 million of the world’s 73 million coronavirus cases were in the U.S., home to more than 301,200 COVID-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics.  



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