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Questions surround whether John Lewis will lie in state in Washington, Georgia

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, stops by the office of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, which has been adorned with a mourning drape, in the Cannon Building on Monday. Lewis died Friday at age 80. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, stops by the office of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, which has been adorned with a mourning drape, in the Cannon Building on Monday. Lewis died Friday at age 80. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ family has yet to announce funeral arrangements or other details regarding celebrations of his life, including whether he will lie in state in Atlanta or even Washington.

Congressional leaders have indicated they are open to the idea of hosting Lewis’ body at the U.S. Capitol, but the coronavirus pandemic makes those decisions more complicated than usual. It is more likely that Lewis will lie in state at the Georgia Capitol.

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland was the most recent person to lie in state at the nation’s Capitol, and he was the first Black American to do so. Two other Black nongovernment or military officials had the designation of lying in honor, including Rosa Parks.

Cummings’ coffin rested inside the National Statuary Hall on Oct. 24. Members of Congress attended a wreath-laying ceremony that also included speeches and musical performances. It was followed by a six-hour viewing for the public.

Large gatherings of people have not happened at the Capitol since March in hopes of limiting the spread of COVID-19. The complex is also closed to visitors, and social-distancing rules are in place.

It is unclear whether the U.S. Capitol will reopen to accommodate a public viewing of Lewis’ coffin or if his family will make arrangements for a smaller-scale event in Washington.

The family is waiting to announce Lewis’ funeral details until after the Rev. C.T. Vivian is funeralized on Thursday, out of respect for that family.

Vivian’s body was lying in state at Georgia’s Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, and the viewing was open to the public.

State officials have said they are willing to make similar arrangements for Lewis.

ExploreFULL COVERAGE: Remembering John Lewis

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