Former United States of America (USA) president Barack Obama Vice President (VP) Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
President Joe Biden of the Democratic Party was sworn in on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 assuming the helm of a country reeling from deep political divides, a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.
Biden, 78, became the oldest US president in history at a scaled-back ceremony in Washington that was largely stripped of its usual pomp and circumstance, due both to the coronavirus and security concerns following the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
With his hand on an heirloom Bible that has been in his family for more than a century, Biden took the presidential oath of office administered by US Chief Justice John Roberts just afternoon (1700 GMT), vowing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
It was also a history-making day – with Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the first woman to hold the office which Biden served as VP to America’s first President Barack Obama.
Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, became the first Black person, first woman and first Asian American to serve as vice president after she was sworn in by US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court’s first Latina member.
Harris used two Bibles, including one owned by Thurgood Marshall, the first Black US Supreme Court Justice.
The ceremony was held in a Washington, two weeks after pro-Trump rioters besieged the US Capitol. Armoured vehicles and concrete barriers blocked the empty streets around the building and guests watched at a social distance.
In his address, the President told the American people that “democracy has prevailed” and called for unity. “Just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground, it did not happen. It will never happen. Not today. Not tomorrow, not ever, not ever.”
Earlier, Donald Trump left the White House for the final time in his tumultuous presidency. The 45th President spoke in Maryland, thanking supporters and promising “will be back in some form”