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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

Updated Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Biden delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the Capitol. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: The Celebrate America event, with remarks by Biden and Harris.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Sources say Beto plans Texas comeback in governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Georgetown to Austin March for Democracy rally on July 31, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, with an announcement expected later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios.

Why it matters: O'Rourke's entry would give Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — and give O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso and 2020 presidential candidate and voting rights activist, a path to a political comeback.

Texas doctor says he performed an abortion in violation of state law

Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas, in July 2021. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

A Texas doctor disclosed in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday that he has performed an abortion in violation of the state's restrictive new abortion law, which effectively bans the procedure after six weeks.

Why it matters: Alan Braid's op-ed is a direct disclosure that will very likely result in legal action, thereby setting it up as a potential test case for how the abortion ban will be litigated, notes the New York Times.