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Joe Biden gestures to the crowd at a drive-in rally for Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock on Dec. 15 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration will have limited in-person attendance due to rising coronavirus cases, with a live audience that "resembles a State of the Union" address, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies said Wednesday.

Driving the news: The announcement comes days after the U.S. surpassed 300,000 coronavirus deaths amid continual record-breaking hospitalizations — and ahead of the grim winter that Biden will inherit.

Details: Instead of the traditional 200,000 tickets that the committee provides with bundles for members of Congress to distribute to constituents, lawmakers will be permitted to bring themselves and one guest to the official ceremonies.

  • National broadcasts and enhanced online viewing options are also being planned, according to Chair Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
  • Biden's own inauguration committee has urged Americans to stay home for the ceremony.

Go deeper

Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration tribute

New York City's Empire State Building is lit up red to honor healthcare workers during the pandemic in May. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

New York City's Empire State Building will be among hundreds of landmarks and buildings to light up across the U.S. on the eve of Joe Biden's inauguration to honor the nearly 400,000 American lives lost to COVID-19.

Driving the news: Tuesday's event is one of several planned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to mark the occasion while avoiding crowds gathering in Washington, D.C., during the pandemic.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.