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Image source: AP

Joe Biden has become America’s 46th president, ending one of the most dramatic political transitions in the US history.

After taking the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, Joe Biden said: “Democracy has prevailed.”

President Biden has announced a raft of measures reversing Trump policies.

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.

How White House Prepares for Trump’s Moving Day

Joe Biden to Issue Decrees to Reverse Trump’s Policies

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.

He has set out a flurry of executive orders. In a statement on January 2, Joe Biden said he would sign 15 orders after he is sworn in. Among them are:

  • Reverse Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate change agreement;
  • Revoke the presidential permit granted to the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is opposed by environmentalists and Native American groups;
  • Revoke Trump policies on immigration enforcement and the emergency declaration that helped fund the construction of a Mexican border wall;
  • Bring about a mask and distancing mandate for federal employees and in federal buildings, and a new White House office on coronavirus;
  • End a travel ban on visitors from some, mainly Muslim, nations.

Other orders will cover race and gender equality, along with climate issues.

Joe Biden’s legislative ambitions could be tempered by the slender majorities he holds in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Image source: Getty Images

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.

Image source: Getty Images

On inauguration day, President Donald Trump’s office is cleaned out, swept of signs that he and his staff had ever been there, ready for the Biden team to move in.

The cleaning out of White House’s West Wing offices, and the transition between presidents, is part of a tradition that dates back centuries. It’s a process that has not always been imbued with warmth.

Another impeached president, Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, snubbed Republican Ulysses S Grant in 1869 and skipped the inauguration. Ulysses Grant, who had backed Andrew Johnson’s removal from office, was hardly surprised.

Today, however, the transition stands out for its acrimony. The process usually starts straight after the election, but it started weeks late after President Trump refused to accept the result. And the president has said he will not attend the inauguration. Most likely, Donald Trump will instead travel to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Even in the best of times, the logistics of a transition are daunting, involving the transfer of knowledge and employees on a massive scale.

About 4,000 political appointees hired by the Trump administration who will lose their job and be replaced by individuals hired by Joe Biden.

Joe Biden New POTUS Twitter Account Starts with No Trump Followers

What Time is Joe Biden’s Inauguration?

During an average transition, between 150,000-300,000 people apply for these jobs, according to the Center for Presidential Transition, a nonpartisan organization based in Washington. About 1,100 of the positions also require Senate confirmation. Filling all of these positions takes months, even years.

Four years of policy papers, briefing books and artefacts relating to the president’s work will be carted off to the National Archives where they will be kept secret for 12 years, unless the president himself decides that portions may be released early.

Furniture in the White House, such as the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, most of the artwork, china and other objects, belong to the government and will remain on the premises.

Other items, like photos of the president that hang in the hallway, will be taken down as the White House is transformed for its new occupants.

The Trumps’ personal belongings, such as clothes, jewellery, and other items will be moved to their new residence, most likely at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

This year, the place will be deep cleaned.

President Trump, as well as dozens of others at the White House, were infected with the coronavirus over the past several months, and the six-floor building, with its 132 rooms, will be thoroughly scrubbed down. Everything from handrails to elevator buttons to restroom fixtures will be wiped and sanitized, according to a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, the federal agency that oversees the housekeeping effort.

Incoming first families usually do some redecoration. Within days of arriving at the White House, Donald Trump had chosen a portrait of populist president Andrew Jackson for the Oval Office. He also replaced the drapes, couches and a rug in the office with ones that were gold-colored. On inauguration day, VP Mike Pence and his wife will also make way for Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff. They will be settling into their official residence, a 19th Century residence on the Naval Observatory grounds, a couple of miles from the White House.

Image source: Anadolu Agency

The Capitol complex in Washington DC was briefly locked down after a security alert, two days before Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Police informed that they acted out of an abundance of caution after witnesses reported smoke rising nearby. The fire was several blocks away.

The move came amid preparations for a rehearsal for Joe Biden’s inauguration as president.

Five people died after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, which is home to the Congress, on January 6.

Thousands of National Guard reserve soldiers have been deployed at the Capitol and around central Washington DC.

There was no threat to the public, officials said after January 18 lockdown. Congress is currently in recess.

Security is tight after the rioters overran the Capitol earlier this month.

The National Mall – the landscaped park around the complex – has been closed, along with many major roads. Fences have been put up around the White House.

The inauguration rehearsal scheduled for January 18 has already been postponed once on security grounds.

All 50 states and the DC are on alert for possible violent protests.

The FBI has warned of possible armed marches by pro-Trump supporters across state capitols.

FBI Warns of Possible Armed Protests Before Joe Biden’s Inauguration

Joe Biden to Issue Decrees to Reverse Trump’s Policies

Once he is sworn in, Joe Biden will issue executive orders to reverse President Donald Trump’s travel bans and re-join the Paris climate accord.

Joe Biden is also expected to focus on reuniting families separated at the US-Mexico border, and to issue mandates on Covid-19 and mask-wearing.

The president-elect and VP-elect Kamala Harris will take the oath of office in front of the Capitol building, overlooking the National Mall.

Normally a crowd of hundreds of thousands would be there to witness a significant moment in American national life.

However, between the coronavirus pandemic and security concerns, the size of the crowd is being severely restricted this year.

Once sworn in, Joe Biden will give an inaugural address, setting the agenda for his term in office.

The ceremonies include a poetry reading, the Pledge of Allegiance and a benediction. Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem, and there will be a musical performance by Jennifer Lopez.

President Trump has said he will not attend the inauguration.

Tom Hanks will host an event on prime-time TV on the night of the 20th, with performances by Justin Timberlake and Bon Jovi.

Joe Biden’s inauguration planning team has designated the day before the swearing-in as a nationwide memorial to lives lost through Covid-19.

Image source: Anadolu Agency

The FBI has warned of possible armed protests across the US as Trump supporters and far-right groups call for demonstrations before Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration.

According to the agency, armed groups are planning to gather at all 50 state capitols and in Washington DC in the run-up to Biden’s inauguration.

Security will be tight for the event after a pro-Trump mob stormed Congress on January 6.

House Democrats say a vote to impeach President Donald Trump will happen on January 13.

Democrats accuse President Trump of “incitement of insurrection” and say the vote will be held unless VP Mike Pence invokes constitutional powers to remove President Trump from office. There is no sign Mike Pence is prepared to do so.

Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris are expected to be sworn in at a ceremony at the Capitol. The Biden team had already urged Americans to avoid travelling to the capital because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a call that is now being repeated by local authorities.

According to security officials, there will be no repeat of the breach seen on January 6, when thousands of pro-Trump supporters were able to break into the building where members of Congress were voting to certify the election result.

Pro-Trump Protesters Storm Capitol Building

Five people died in the riot, which happened after President Trump repeated unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the November vote and encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol.

Since then, calls for Donald Trump’s resignation, removal from office or impeachment have grown among Democrats and some Republicans.

President Trump has made no public statements since he was banned from several social media platforms – including Twitter – on January 8.

Donald Trump became the third president to be impeached in December 2019 over charges of breaking the law by asking Ukraine to investigate his rival in the presidential election. The Senate cleared him.