Masks, social distancing and a field of flags: Biden’s inauguration amid pandemic

Former presidents and a few celebrity performers were among those who attended the inauguration of Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States, weeks after the Capitol riot amid a raging coronavirus pandemic.
  • President Joe Biden, left, is sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, right, at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Looking on are Biden's wife Jill Biden, second from left, daughter Ashley Biden, third from left; son Hunter Biden, center; and Vice Kamala Harris, second from right. (Andrew Harnik/Pool via The New York Times)

    President Joe Biden, left, is sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, right, at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Looking on are Biden's wife Jill Biden, second from left, daughter Ashley Biden, third from left; son Hunter Biden, center; and Vice Kamala Harris, second from right. (Andrew Harnik/Pool via The New York Times)

  • From left: former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton at the inauguration of Joe Biden at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Ruth Fremson/The New York)

    From left: former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton at the inauguration of Joe Biden at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Ruth Fremson/The New York)

  • Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the inauguration of President Joe Biden at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)

    Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the inauguration of President Joe Biden at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)

  • Flags representing people unable to attend the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on the National Mall in Washington early on Wednesday morning, Jan. 20, 2021, hours before the ceremony. (Jason ANdrew/The New York Times)

    Flags representing people unable to attend the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on the National Mall in Washington early on Wednesday morning, Jan. 20, 2021, hours before the ceremony. (Jason ANdrew/The New York Times)

  • President-elect of the United States Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden speak with former President Barack Obama as they arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS

    President-elect of the United States Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden speak with former President Barack Obama as they arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS

  • Lady Gaga sings the National Anthem during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

    Lady Gaga sings the National Anthem during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • Joe Biden is sworn in during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

    Joe Biden is sworn in during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • From left, Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, Senator Roy Blunt, R-MO, President-elect Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff, arrive at the steps of the US Capitol ahead of the inauguration of President Joe Biden in Washington, DC, US January 20, 2021. Melina Mara/Pool via REUTERS

    From left, Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, Senator Roy Blunt, R-MO, President-elect Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff, arrive at the steps of the US Capitol ahead of the inauguration of President Joe Biden in Washington, DC, US January 20, 2021. Melina Mara/Pool via REUTERS

  • Supporters of US President Joe Biden celebrate after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, at Black Lives Matter Plaza, in Washington D.C., US January 20, 2021. Reuters

    Supporters of US President Joe Biden celebrate after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, at Black Lives Matter Plaza, in Washington D.C., US January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • The

    The "Field of flags" is seen on the National Mall in front of the US Capitol building ahead of inauguration ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • Social distancing audience during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

    Social distancing audience during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • Jennifer Lopez performs during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

    Jennifer Lopez performs during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • A general view of the Capitol during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

    A general view of the Capitol during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • Former US Vice President Mike Pence and US Vice President Kamala Harris walk down the stairs after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

    Former US Vice President Mike Pence and US Vice President Kamala Harris walk down the stairs after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • Kamala Harris is sworn in as US Vice President as her spouse Doug Emhoff holds a bible during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

    Kamala Harris is sworn in as US Vice President as her spouse Doug Emhoff holds a bible during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

  • Former US Vice President Mike Pence and US Vice President Kamala Harris talk after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

    Former US Vice President Mike Pence and US Vice President Kamala Harris talk after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

  • Former US President George W. Bush and Former President Bill Clinton arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

    Former US President George W. Bush and Former President Bill Clinton arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • The

    The "Field of Flags" is seen ahead of inauguration ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • President-elect Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff salute as they arrive ahead of the inauguration of Biden, in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

    President-elect Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff salute as they arrive ahead of the inauguration of Biden, in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

  • US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

    US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 20, 2021. Reuters

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