With less than 48 hours until the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, many in the Tri-State would normally be making the trip to our nation’s capital.
But with the looming threat of COVID-19 and possible protests around the corner, even some of the staunchest supporters of the Biden-Harris ticket are planning to watch the historic moment remotely.
Transportation companies like Megabus have announced they are suspending travel to and from Washington, D.C., surrounding the inauguration out of safety concerns.
Supporters said they’re heeding the advice to stay home, but that won’t stop the celebration.
“One day we’ll be reading history books about this moment and this inauguration,” Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reece said.
She’s been to two inaugurations: Bill Clinton’s, when she was still in college, and Barack Obama’s as a member of Ohio's general assembly. Reece was planning to attend her third later this week, but the world had other plans.
“I think it’s important, because we had an election that had a pandemic and so we had to connect with voters in a different way,” she said. “Now, we’ll get a chance to celebrate in a different way.”
Like other Democrats across the country, Reece said she will take part in a virtual inauguration celebration.
“It’s going to be a lot of people, but women and particularly women of color from all over the country,” she said.
Among those women are members of Harris’ sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.
“We were told it was best that we all watch it, and that’s fine,” former Great Lakes regional director of AKA, Charlene Truitt Nelson said. “She would have had a large contention of Alpha Kappa Alpha women in pink and green, I guarantee you. But due to these times, unfortunately, we’re battling coronavirus as well as what’s going on at the Capitol.”
Both women said that, though the crowd may be missing, Wednesday will feel no less historic.
“To see a woman break that glass ceiling and get one step closer to the presidency, to have a woman of color break that ceiling,” Reece said, “I think it’s very important.”
The traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, a favorite of inauguration-goers, has also been replaced with a virtual celebration.