The parade planned to celebrate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ January 20th inauguration has been cancelled, Mediaite has learned.
Jon Nicosia of News Cycle Media was first to report that the parade had been cancelled.
On Sunday, Mediaite obtained a copy of a U.S. Army email sent to a list of military leaders notifying them that the parade was cancelled and their participation was no longer needed.
“ALCON,” the email began (an abbreviation for “all concerned”), announcing the parade cancellation shortly after 9 pm ET Saturday:
The Presidential Inauguration Committee has provided definitive guidance. Although it is not in an official order format, they have approved the following to be disseminated in a limited manner. A formal order will be sent out through NORTHCOM and Joint Staff today but with the Holiday they understand that the guidance may not reach everyone until later next week.
The Inaugural Parade has been canceled. The Active, National Guard, Reserve, and Academy marching requirements have been deleted and are no longer needed.
The email did not specify a reason for the cancellation. Security concerns are always a significant issue with any presidential inauguration, or, for that matter, any event where the president and vice president will be in attendance.
However, it is believed this parade was cancelled to avoid drawing large crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic. Previous communications from Biden’s inaugural committee had urged Americans not to travel to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration, and described plans where the “ceremony’s footprint will be extremely limited,” and contemplated a “reimagined” parade.
Joe Biden’s Presidential inaugural committee press release with all the details: pic.twitter.com/pQn4NdQwd4
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) December 15, 2020
NBC News’ White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell tweeted a short video showing the parade review stands being taken down and cited the pandemic as the reason for the cancellation.
Here’s a look at more construction work outside WH north fence where crews are taking down what’s left of a just built parade review stand that would have been used for Inaugural but canceled due to covid. pic.twitter.com/BM4XXLbJ5a
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) January 2, 2021
According to a report by Bloomberg, the new plans entail “a shortened military escort” for Biden to the White House following the inauguration ceremony, and a “Virtual Parade Across America” broadcast that will include “musical acts, marching bands, poetry, dance troupes and essential workers.”
Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen released a statement, noting the need to take the pandemic into consideration: “There are many grand traditions to the inaugural, and we plan to honor them by highlighting more of our nation’s people than ever before while keeping everyone safe.”
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