Inaugural Committee Says No Crowd at Biden Swearing In

December 16, 2020 by Dan McCue
In this Jan. 20, 2017 photo, President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON – The joint congressional committee overseeing preparations for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden announced Wednesday that the event will be an almost semi-private affair with no tickets distributed to the general public.

Traditionally, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies would distribute 200,000 tickets for the official ceremonies at the Capitol and provide ticket bundles to members of the 117th Congress to distribute to constituents.

For the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies, on Jan. 20, invitations to members of the 117th Congress will be limited to themselves and one guest.

Commemorative ticket bundles and program packets will be made available to member offices for constituents following the ceremonies.

In announcing the decision, Committee Chairs Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said the decision to dramatically limit attendance was made in consultation with diversified public health and medical experts.

 After these discussions, the committee determined the recent rise in COVID-19 cases “warranted a difficult decision to limit attendance at the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies to a live audience that resembles a State of the Union,” Blunt said. “We are also working on enhanced opportunities to watch the ceremonies online, in addition to the traditional televised national broadcast.”

Sen. Klobuchar said she understands the election of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is an historic occasion and that many people wanted to attend the Inauguration in-person.

“At the same time, safety must be our top priority,” she said. “While the pandemic has forced us to limit in-person attendance, it also brings opportunities to honor our democracy in innovative ways so that Americans across the country can experience Inauguration Day from home.”

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