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Biden team urges people not to travel to D.C. for inauguration

Biden and Harris will take their oaths of office outside the U.S. Capitol building, but it probably won't look like other inaugurations.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are preparing for a unique inauguration to accommodate safety guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

"The ceremony’s footprint will be extremely limited, and the parade that follows will be reimagined," the Presidential Inaugural Committee said in a statement on Tuesday.

Instead of packing the national mall, PIC is urging the public not to travel to Washington, D.C. for the event, but to instead participate from home. 

The committee says Biden's inaugural address will "lay out his vision to beat the virus, build back better, and bring the country together."

"Our goal is to create an inauguration that keeps people safe, honors the grand traditions of the Presidency, and showcases the Biden-Harris Administration’s renewed American vision for an inclusive, equitable, and unified citizenry,” PIC CEO Tony Allen said in a statement. 

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To help produce the event, PIC has announced Stephanie Cutter and Ricky Kirshner as executive producers. Cutter was the producer who oversaw the 2020 virtual Democratic Convention in August. Kirshner, who executive produced the Super Bowl halftime show between 2007 and 2020, oversaw programming at the most recent DNC convention. 

To help maintain health and safety protocol, PIC has brought on former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler as chief medical adviser.

The announcement from PIC comes one day after the electoral college officially certified Biden and Harris's win.

After garnering a record of more than 81 million votes, Biden is still trying to build momentum as he prepares to assume the presidency on Jan. 20. That's been complicated by President Donald Trump refusing to concede and has instead pursued baseless legal challenges that have been roundly rejected by judges across the political spectrum, including the justices at the Supreme Court.

It's still unclear whether other traditional inaugural events, such as a luncheon with members of Congress or a pre-ceremony tea with the outgoing president, will happen this time.

The presidential face-to-face is up in the air due to Trump's ongoing maneuvering rather than any virus concerns. The outgoing president still refuses to concede the election. When asked in a Sunday Fox News interview whether he would participate or attend, Trump said, “I don't want to talk about that.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Credit: AP
President-elect Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, speaks about economic recovery at The Queen theater, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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