Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sworn in!

(L-R) Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice-President Kamala Harris; Kamala Harris; Jill Biden, wife of President Joe Biden; and Joe Biden. Image Source: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

On 20th January 2021, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as the 46th President and the 49th Vice-President of the United States of America.

Amidst coronavirus precautions, absence of the outgoing President, and heightened security, this inauguration was different from the others, but was historic nevertheless, bringing about a message of peace and unity.

While outgoing President Donald Trump was missing from the proceedings, it was attended by many dignitaries, including former POTUS and First Lady, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush were also in attendance.

Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Joe Biden, who used a treasured family Bible that dates to the 19th century. Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath to Kamala Harris, who used two Bibles. She made history by becoming the first female Vice-President.

Harris was escorted at her inauguration by Eugene Goodman, the heroic Capitol Police officer and US Army veteran who led a crowd of insurrectionists away from the Senate chamber on 6th January.

In his inaugural address, Biden emphasized themes of unity and recovery. “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue,” he said.

The inauguration was also a star-studded event, with Lady Gaga rendering the National Anthem. Singer Jennifer Lopez sang a beautiful medley of songs of American musical selections including “This Land is your Land” and “America the Beautiful.”

22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman also made history by becoming the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration: she recited her poem, The Hill We Climb. In 2017, she also became the nation’s first youth poet.

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” during President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

Just hours after being sworn-in, President Biden halted the funding for the construction of the border wall endorsed by former President Trump by terminating the national emergency declaration used to fund it.

In terms of his decisions regarding the environment, he rejoined the Paris climate accord – a legally binding international treaty on climate change. This process that will take 30 days.

He also signed an order to halt the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will participate in the WHO’s executive meeting remotely this week

To stop the spread of the pandemic, President Biden also imposed a mask mandate on any federal property.

World leaders congratulated both Biden and Harris on their inauguration.

Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, tweeted:

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi also tweeted his wishes for President Biden.

President of France, Emmanuel Macron also conveyed his wishes to Biden and Harris.

Dalai Lama tweeted saying that he was praying for Biden’s success:

The inauguration also marked the end of one of the most divisive chapters in America history. We hope and pray that Biden’s term brings in more peace and harmony to the beleaguered nation.


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