Biden says planning scaled-down inauguration to prevent crowds amid pandemic

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Washington [US]: US President-Elect Joe Biden announced plans for a scaled-down ceremony for his January inauguration amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"The foremost thing is we're going to follow, again, the science and the recommendation of the experts on keeping people safe. So it's highly unlikely there'll be a million people on the mall going all the way down," Biden told a news conference on Friday, referring to the National Mall in Washington DC where crowds gather by tradition to watch the event unfolding at the White House.

Biden said it probably will not be a gigantic inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

"My guess is you'll see a lot of virtual activity in States all across America, engaging even more people than before. I'm not in a position to give you an example of exactly, you know, what it will look like, but I promise you it'll be available either virtually or in-person for many," he added.

According to data monitored by Johns Hopkins University, nearly 14 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 since the U.S. outbreak of the virus and more than 273,000 have died from related complications. Hospitalization of COVID-19 cases also hit record highs of above 100,000 a day in recent weeks, even as vaccine development efforts have shown promise. 


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