Biden, Harris form inaugural committee

By Quint Forgey

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Monday announced the formation of a Presidential Inaugural Committee ahead of their swearing-in on Jan. 20.

The senior leadership of the committee, which will be responsible for organizing inauguration-related activities, consists of CEO Tony Allen and executive director Maju Varghese.

Allen is president of Delaware State University, and Varghese served as chief operating officer and senior adviser to the Biden-Harris campaign.

Nevada state Sen. Yvanna Cancela and Erin Wilson, the Biden-Harris campaign’s national political director, will both serve as deputy executive directors on the inaugural committee.

Accompanying Biden and Harris’ announcement on Monday was the committee’s digital rollout, including a new website featuring an online store “with exclusive inaugural merchandise and collectables.”

In their statement, Biden’s inaugural team said the committee would “work closely with the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies … to coordinate all activities surrounding the 59th inaugural ceremonies, prioritizing keeping people safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19 while engaging all Americans.”

It remains unclear how the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will affect planning for the inauguration in less than two months, as public health experts warn of surging caseloads during the holiday season.

Allen, the committee’s CEO, acknowledged in a statement that “this year’s inauguration will look different amid the pandemic, but we will honor the American inaugural traditions and engage Americans across the country while keeping everybody healthy and safe.”