Tensions have continued to heighten in the nation’s capital following a year dominated by restrictions and shutdowns stemming from the battle against the Chinese coronavirus, as well as a contentious and disputed presidential election capped off by the January 6 Capitol riots — a series of events all factoring into what will be a rather unconventional inauguration for the incoming president on January 20.
President-elect Joe Biden’s team has continued to downplay expectations for his inauguration — an event typically accompanied by parades, performances, social festivities, and throngs of supporters flocking to the National Mall to witness the peaceful transition of power.
This year’s event, however, will be significantly different, which Biden’s team originally attributed to the ongoing battle against the Chinese coronavirus. Earlier this month, his inaugural committee announced celebrations of the event would include a virtual parade in lieu of the traditional spectacle, although the event will include a look at Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “making their way to the White House for the first time.”
“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,” Tony Allen, the inaugural committee’s chief executive officer, said while describing what has been dubbed as a “Virtual Parade Across America.”
That will not be the only virtual event, either. While Lady Gaga, an outspoken Biden supporter, is expected to perform the national anthem in person at the inauguration, Biden’s star-studded primetime inauguration special will be virtual, broadcasting across major television networks later that night. The event, hosted by actor Tom Hanks, will feature left-wing celebrities including John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Ant Clemons, Justin Timberlake, the Foo Fighters, and Demi Lovato.