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What the pandemic is forcing President-elect Biden to change at his inauguration

Traditions are being reconfigured
Presidential Inauguration
Posted at 5:22 PM, Jan 01, 2021

WASHINGTON — A new year will bring a new President.

However, because of the pandemic, President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20th will be unlike any we have seen in recent years.

Biden telling supporters not to come

The biggest change will be the crowd sizes. Because of the pandemic, the President-elect is telling his supporters not to travel to Washington D.C.

While some will still make their way to the national mall, crowds will be sparse and crowd-size records won't be broken.

Members of Congress have limited tickets

In a normal year, Congress would distribute hundreds of thousands of official tickets.
Those watching near the Capitol would have to receive an official invite to get to the spot.

This year, each Member of Congress gets a plus one, just like the State of the Union.

No lunch inside the Capitol

Traditionally, after the swearing-in, the new President has lunch with Members of Congress inside the Capitol. That event has been canceled.

Inaugural balls and the parade being reconfigured

"I do think they will try to engage virtually," Rachel Glaws, a Washington D.C. event planner said.

In a normal year, she would help coordinate a half dozen inaugural galas and balls. This year her usual clients have canceled the cocktails.

"Right now, we don't have anything on deck," Glaws said.

What role will President Donald Trump play?

This change is the one that is up in the air at the moment.

Four years ago, President Obama invited President Trump on the morning of his inauguration to the White House, per tradition. Obama also attended President Trump's swearing-in.

It's unclear if President Trump will go to anything this year.

"At this point I'm not sure what President Trump will want to do," Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a co-chair of the Biden inauguration, said.

"It would be unfortunate if he chooses not to participate, I will tell you that the committee itself are working so that people across the country can participate in different ways," Blunt Rochester said.