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Biden wants simple, safe inauguration

Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden

WILMINGTON, United States, Dec 4, 2020 (AFP) – US President-elect Joe Biden said Friday that he expects his January inauguration to be a scaled-down event with an emphasis on safety because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to follow the science and the recommendations of the experts on keeping people safe,” Biden told reporters.

“So it’s highly unlikely there’ll be a million people on the mall,” he said. “My guess is there will probably not be a gigantic inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

“My guess is there’ll still be a platform ceremony but I don’t know how it’s all going to work out,” he said.

Recent presidents have been sworn in at an outdoors ceremony at the US Capitol attended by their predecessor but President Donald Trump has declined to commit to attending the event and continues to refuse to concede the election.

The 78-year-old Biden is to be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on January 20, 2021.

Biden said he expects the inauguration to be “something that is closer to what the (Democratic) convention was like than the typical inauguration.”

The Democratic convention was mostly virtual because of the pandemic.

“My guess is you’ll see a lot of virtual activity in states all across America engaging even more people than before,” Biden said.

“People want to celebrate,” he said. “People want to be able to say we’ve passed the baton, we’re moving on, democracy is functioning.”

Biden said he was certain about one thing.

“In my inaugural speech I’m going to ask people to commit for 100 days to wear a mask,” he said. cl/mjs Agence France-Presse