Inauguration meeting with DC Del. Norton abruptly canceled

A phone meeting between members of President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton was abruptly canceled Tuesday, leaving unanswered a long list of questions as to what the inauguration will actually look like during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the last minute, I learned that it would have to be postponed,” Norton told WTOP.

Norton hoped the meeting would shed light on what the plan is for Jan. 20, and how many people might be allowed to view the ceremony in person.

“It seems clear to me that the inauguration committee is trying to figure out for itself what to do,” Norton said. “My best guess is they don’t know what they’re doing.”

All the uncertainty hasn’t stopped the demand for Inauguration Day tickets, which people can request through the office of their U.S. senator or representative.

Norton’s office alone has received more than 1,000 requests.

“It goes up every few minutes,” Norton said.

WTOP Inauguration FAQ: What you need to know

For now, Norton’s staff is putting people on a list and telling them that they will be contacted once more information is available.

“We are telling our constituents that tickets have not been allocated yet,” Norton said. “As soon as we know, we will let them know.”

The stand that crews are building in front of the U.S. Capitol building for the inauguration can hold 1,600 people, but it is not clear what the capacity restrictions will be.

Questions about capacity remain unanswered for the National Mall and the parade route, even as the presidential reviewing stand for the parade is currently being constructed in front of the White House.

The chief executive of Biden’s inaugural committee, Tony Allen, released a statement that seemed to indicate there would be limits on crowd sizes, or possibly mandatory coronavirus testing for some.

“We will honor the American inaugural traditions and engage Americans across the country while keeping everybody healthy and safe,” Allen said.

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