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Biden inauguration to host “virtual parade across America” amid COVID-19

President-elect Joe Biden will have a shortened military escort to the White House on Inauguration Day and there’ll be a “virtual parade across America” to avoid attracting crowds during the pandemic, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Sunday.

Driving the news: The committee has asked people to stay away during inaugural festivities on Jan. 20 and take part from home instead to curb the spread of COVID-19 amid spiking U.S. cases.

“There are many grand traditions to the inaugural and we plan to honor them by highlighting more of our nation’s people than ever before while keeping everyone safe.”

— Statement from Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen

The big picture: After the official swearing-in ceremony on the west front of the U.S. Capitol, Biden, incoming first lady Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and incoming second gentleman Doug Emhoff will participate in a socially distanced pass in review with members of the military on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol, per an inauguration committee statement.

  • The committee said Biden will then receive a presidential escort from 15th Street in Washington, DC, to the White House, “providing the American people and world with historic images of the President-elect proceeding to the White House without attracting large crowds and gatherings.”
  • The nationally televised virtual parade will “celebrate America’s heroes, highlight Americans from all walks of life in different states and regions, and reflect on the diversity, heritage, and resilience of the country as we begin a new American era,” the committee added. Participants will be announced in the coming weeks.

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