Biden Inauguration To Be Smallest Ever After Committee Guts Live Audience

(Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony is poised to be the smallest ever after his inauguration committee gutted live attendance, dropping it from 200,000 to barely over 1,000 on Wednesday.

The committee is taking the precautions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying the inauguration audience will now resemble that of a State of the Union address, according a statement from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC). Republican Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, who chairs the committee, told reporters his committee is looking into “enhanced opportunities to watch the ceremonies online, in addition to the traditional televised national broadcast.”

Biden’s own inauguration organizers urged Americans to stay home from the ceremony Tuesday, also citing the coronavirus pandemic. The JCCIC typically sends out roughly 200,000 tickets for members of Congress to distribute among their constituents. This year, however, there will only be 1,070 — two tickets for each member of Congress. (RELATED: REPORT: Trump Floats 2024 Campaign-Related Event During Inauguration Week)

President Donald Trump has floated the idea that he won’t attend Biden’s inauguration, instead holding his own competing rally in Florida on Jan. 20. Given Trump’s tendency to flout social distancing rules, his rally may end up being larger than Biden’s inauguration.

While Trump has not formally conceded the election, he has authorized his administration to begin the transition process. Trump has said he will “certainly” leave the White House if the Electoral College certified Biden’s win, which it did on Monday.