This inauguration will lack the large crowds and many of the in-person events that would have been expected before the coronavirus pandemic. But nonetheless, Biden will be sworn in at noon by Chief Justice John Roberts, followed by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris being sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Before that, the inauguration schedule includes an invocation by Father Leo O’Donovan, a former president of Georgetown University; the pledge of allegiance recited by Andrea Hall, the first Black woman to become a captain of the fire department in her Georgia town; the national anthem sung by Lady Gaga; a poetry reading by Amanda Gorman, the first youth poet laureate; and a musical performance by Jennifer Lopez.
After the oaths of office, Biden will give his inaugural address “laying out his vision to defeat the pandemic, build back better, and unify and heal the nation.” Following that, he, Harris, and their spouses will conduct a military review, of which the inauguration website explains “Pass in Reviews are a long-standing military tradition that reflect the peaceful transfer of power to a new Commander-in-Chief.”
At or shortly after 2 PM ET, by-then-president and vice president and their spouses will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, along with former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, and their spouses.
At 3 PM, Biden will go to the deep-cleaned White House, walking from 15th Street to the White House with an escort including every branch of the military. That will be followed at 3:15 by virtual programming, a “Parade across America” hosted by the actor Tony Goldwyn and including more of the star power Trump always wished he could summon.
Around 4:30 PM, Harris will swear in three new senators: Georgia’s Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and her own replacement, Alex Padilla of California.
At 8:30 PM, there will be a “Celebrating America” event instead of the traditional series of inaugural balls. That will be hosted by Tom Hanks and include appearances and performances from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, and Foo Fighters.
The inauguration events and “Celebrating America” will be aired on most television networks, and will stream all over the place, including YouTube, CNN, The New York Times, and more. Daily Kos will have live coverage throughout the day.