Missouri senator says ‘normal inauguration’ planned despite coronavirus spikes

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Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Sunday morning that the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is planning for a normal inauguration ceremony, despite the spikes in coronavirus cases across the country in the past week.

“The six person committee — three senators, three House members — that I chair, we’re moving forward anticipating an outside full-scale inauguration,” Blunt told George Stephanoplous on ABC’s “This Week.”

The comments come after the United States reached a daily record number of 126,742 coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

“It’s easier to scale back than scale up and we’re going to be talking to people this week about that very topic and hope that the person who’s sworn in on inaugural day sees it as a great day even though what happens at the Capitol is up to the Congress to decide.”

The senator — who said the process still needs to play out before it can be determined that Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump — said that ceremony will be a time for Americans to see “how democracy works.”

“The President-elect is our guest that day and once again I think we’re going to project to the world that democracy works, that this country where — with the president’s efforts and other efforts — incredible energy in this election produced a result,“ he said, adding: “This is a great time for us to show how a true democracy works,” he said.

But former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb expressed caution about having a large crowd at the inauguration on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“We’re going to be right in the thick of probably the worst point of this epidemic wave that we’re going through right now,” he said. “And the Biden campaign, the Biden team, have shown that they’re willing to forgo the usual trappings of running for office, so that they don’t expose people unnecessarily. I suspect they’re going to take a similar approach to how they handle the inauguration.”

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