Biden inauguration to honor lives lost during coronavirus pandemic

Inauguration to honor lives lost during coronavirus pandemic

WASHINGTON — The upcoming inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will pay tribute to remember those who have died from COVID-19.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced the Jan. 19 event, calling it the “first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialize American lives lost.”

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The committee also called on the country to light buildings and ring church bells at 5:30 p.m. the night before the inauguration ceremony as part of “a national moment of unity and remembrance,” The Associated Press reported.

On the last day of 2020, after an 11-month fight against COVID-19, more than 342,450 people have died from the virus in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. There have been nearly 19.75 million cases in the country. Worldwide there have been more than 1.8 million deaths and more than 82.8 million cases.

“In the midst of a pandemic — when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors — it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation,” committee spokesperson Pili Tobar said in a statement.

The inauguration ceremony is set to take place on Jan. 20 in Washington D.C. on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building, but the ceremony will be scaled down to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.

The committee has gone as far as to ask supporters not to travel to the capital and stay home instead, CNN reported.

Congress usually gets about 200,000 tickets to give to constituents for the ceremony but this year the tickets will only be for the members of Congress and one guest each, The Washington Post reported.

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