Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, calling on Americans to embrace unity in the new era under his administration.
By Our Team
The inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States took place on January 20, 2021, marking the commencement of the four-year term of Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president.
The inaugural ceremony took place on the West Front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. and was the 59th presidential inauguration. Biden took the presidential oath of office, before which Harris took the vice presidential oath of office.
The inauguration took place amidst extraordinary political, public health, economic, and national security crises, including outgoing President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election, which incited a storming of the Capitol, Trump’s unprecedented second impeachment, and a threat of widespread civil unrest, which stimulated a nationwide law enforcement response.
Festivities were sharply curtailed by efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the potential for violence near the Capitol.
The live audience was limited to members of the 117th United States Congress and, for each, one guest of their choosing, resembling a State of the Union address.
Public health measures such as mandatory face coverings, testing, temperature checks, and social distancing were used to protect participants in the ceremony.
“America United” and “Our Determined Democracy: Forging a More Perfect Union”—a reference to the Preamble to the United States Constitution—served as the inaugural themes.
Biden inaugural speech
Speaking under a bright winter sky, Biden declared “democracy has prevailed”, during a ceremony that honored the perseverance of a sacred ritual of American democracy at the US Capitol, where exactly two weeks ago a swarm of supporters loyal to his predecessor stormed the building in a violent but futile last stand to overturn the results of the election.
“This is America’s day,” Biden said, looking across the sprawl of the capital city’s national monuments, now guarded by a military garrison unprecedented in modern times, and devoid of spectators as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. “This is democracy’s day.”
Millions of Americans watched from home as Chief Justice John Roberts administered the 35-word oath of office to Biden, moments before noon, when the powers of the presidency formally transferred.
“Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now,” he said, promising to dedicate his “whole soul” to rebuilding a country ravaged by disease, economic turmoil, racial inequality and political division.
Donald Trump, who never formally conceded his defeat, left the White House on Wednesday morning and was not in attendance, a final display of irreverence for the traditions and norms that have long shaped the presidency. However Mike Pence, the outgoing vice-president, was there, joined by the Clintons, the Bushes and the Obamas.