Inauguration Day 2021: Joe Biden Becomes America’s 46th President
Joe Biden has become the 46th president of the United States, ending one of the most dramatic political transitions in American history.
After taking the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, Joe Biden said: “Democracy has prevailed.”
Donald Trump – who has not formally conceded the presidency to Joe Biden – snubbed the inauguration ceremony, in a departure from longstanding precedent.
He was the first president not to attend his successor’s inauguration since 1869.
President Biden has announced a raft of measures reversing Trump policies.
Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice-president ahead of Joe Biden.
She is the first woman – and the first black and Asian-American person – to serve in a role, a heartbeat from the presidency.
The inauguration took place at the Capitol, where an extra-tight security was imposed after the building was stormed by violent pro-Trump protesters in a deadly riot on January 6.
Some 25,000 National Guards are protecting the ceremony, which is missing the traditional hundreds of thousands of spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In his inaugural address, Joe Biden said it was a day of “history and hope”.
“My whole soul is in putting America back together again,” he added.
Highlighting a message of unity after the turbulent Trump years, Joe Biden promised to be a president “for all Americans” – including those who voted against him.
Among those attending the inauguration ceremony were three of Joe Biden’s predecessors: Barack Obama – under whom Biden served for eight years as vice-president – Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Former VP Mike Pence also attended. He skipped Donald Trump’s farewell military salute event.
The inauguration ceremony included musical performances by Lady Gaga – who sang the national anthem – as well as Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks.
An evening concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC will be hosted by Tom Hanks and include Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, and Demi Lovato.
How White House Prepares for Trump’s Moving Day
Earlier on the day, Joe Biden, 78, attended Mass at a cathedral in Washington – along with four Roman Catholic congressional leaders, both Democrats and Republicans.
Donald Trump left the White House at about 08:00AM on January 20, and flew to the nearby Andrews Air Force base.
In his farewell address at the base, Donald Trump highlighted what he regarded as the successes of his presidency.
He said: “What we’ve done has been amazing by any standard.”
Donald Trump, 74, then left for his Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida, where he arrived later in the morning.
In his last hours as president, Donald Trump granted clemency to more than 140 people, including his former adviser Steve Bannon, who had been facing fraud charges.
The political drama surrounding Donald Trump is far from over. The Senate is expected to put him on trial soon, following his record second impeachment by the House of Representatives for allegedly inciting the Capitol riot.
On January 19, the Senate’s Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, said the mob had been provoked by Donald Trump and fed lies.