November 20, 2020 at 12:19 AM EST
What will Inauguration Day look like amid a pandemic?
By Emily Davies and Justin Jouvenal
The inaugural platform is going up near the Capitol, and the District has repaved Pennsylvania Avenue for the traditional parade. But the crowds huddled together enjoying a concert on the Mall and the celebratory balls that go late into the night? They are less certain. In fact, much remains unknown about how the coronavirus pandemic will change the inaugural celebration that normally transforms the city every four years.
Nine weeks away from the 59th presidential inauguration, officials are under pressure to stage an event that will begin to heal a nation bruised by its deep partisan divides. But they are also operating under the constraints of a health crisis that has upended traditions dependent on massive gatherings and cross-country travel. The result is citywide preparation for a ceremony still shrouded in uncertainty as constituents clamor for tickets and the coronavirus continues to surge around them.