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Joe Biden says his inauguration will NOT have million-strong crowd on the National Mall

Joe Biden says his inauguration will NOT have million-strong crowd on the National Mall or a parade and says it will look like Democrats’ all-virtual convention

  • ‘So am I,’ quipped Biden when told many Americans are curious what his inauguration will look like
  • He said much of it will be ‘virtual’ due to COVID-19 
  • He said it would be ‘closer to what the convention was like’ than typical inaugural
  • Trump term began with controversy over false claims about crowd size 

President-elect Joe Biden says his inauguration January 20th won’t have an assembly of a million cheering fans on the Mall – nearly four years after President Trump‘s presidency got off to a rocky start after false claims about crowd size.

Biden framed the issue in terms of the coronavirus, and referenced his ‘virtual’ party convention, which also shattered norms amid the pandemic. 

He said he would perform the traditional swearing-in at the Capitol – considered an important symbol of the transfer of power, even as President Trump continued to call the election ‘rigged’ in a way that could undermine Biden’s legitimacy. 

President-elect Joe Biden said his inauguration would ‘closer to what the convention was like’ than typical inaugural’

Biden says keeping people safe is his first consideration for his Jan. 20 inauguration. He said it will be ‘Highly unlikely there will be a million people on the Mall going all the way down the mall’ due to the pandemic. 

In that sense, his inauguration will break historical patterns going back decades, although there were low-key swearing-ins earlier in the nation’s history. 

Biden was asked about the subject following a speech in Wilmington, told that a lot of Americans are wondering what his inauguration would look like.

‘So am I,’ he quipped.  

He suggested that the festivities could end up looking like the largely virtual convention Democrats held in August, with online activity in the states.

Biden said his inauguration wouldn't have crowds lined up down the Mall as they were for Barack Obama's inauguration

Biden said his inauguration wouldn’t have crowds lined up down the Mall as they were for Barack Obama’s inauguration

Biden said he would hold festivities at the Capitol

Biden said he would hold festivities at the Capitol

President Donald Trump gives his inaugural speech on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States

President Donald Trump gives his inaugural speech on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today’s inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States

Trump delivered his 'American carnage' speech, before his press secretary spoke inaccurately about the size of his inaugural crowd

Trump delivered his ‘American carnage’ speech, before his press secretary spoke inaccurately about the size of his inaugural crowd

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 20: INAUGURATION 2009; Crowds gather on the National Mall in Washington for the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 20: INAUGURATION 2009; Crowds gather on the National Mall in Washington for the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama

Biden says his team is talking with congressional leaders about their plans for the inauguration. The swearing-in ceremony and a lunch for the new president and vice president are held at the Capitol.

Biden says he wants people to be able to celebrate safely. He says, “There will probably not be a gigantic inaugural parade.” He says details are still being worked out.

It isn’t just COVID-19 and the crowds that will make things appear different. Trump has yet to say he will attend, and has yet to concede. Other traditions, like a traditional tea at the White House for the outgoing and incoming presidents and their spouses, and a joint ride in the presidential limo to the Capitol, are certainly up in the air. 

He said it would be ‘closer to what the convention was like than typical inauguration.’

On the first day of his presidency, Trump press secretary Sean Spicer claimed the inaugural crowd was far larger than Barack Obama’s, despite photo evidence that clearly contradicted it.  

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