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Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Presidential Inaugural Committee issued a statement Tuesday urging the public to "refrain from any travel and participate in the inaugural activities from home" due to COVID-19.

Driving the news: Former FDA commissioner David Kessler will serve as the committee's chief medical adviser as it plans a "new and innovative program" for participation in inaugural ceremonies, which will be released in the coming weeks.

  • Both President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will perform their swearing-in ceremonies at the Capitol building, and Biden will deliver a speech after.
  • The committee notes that "the ceremony's footprint will be extremely limited," and that the parade that typically follows the inauguration "will be reimagined."

What they're saying: "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," said Committee CEO Tony Allen.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with first lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden's inauguration signals a great American reset

President Biden prepares to walk the abbreviated parade route in front of the White House after the inauguration. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President Biden had exited his Cadillac with the new "46" license plates and was strolling a short stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue toward his new home when he spotted "Today" show weather legend Al Roker.

The big picture: Biden dropped Jill Biden's hand — no warning — and trotted over to the delighted Roker. POTUS gave Roker a fist bump and said, "Gotta keep doing this!" It was a very Joe moment in a day that was designed to signal a return to normality in a turbulent America.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.