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Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president of the United States

Last Updated Jan 20, 2021 at 2:37 pm PST

Summary

Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

Kamala Harris becomes the first woman to be vice president of the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWS 1130) – Joe Biden is officially the 46th president of the United States.

“Democracy has prevailed,” he said after taking the oath of office at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.

Biden shared his optimism for the future.

“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge,” Biden declared, standing alongside his family, supporters, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

“Today we celebrate the triumph — not of a candidate, but of a cause. The cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people, has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded,” he continued.

Biden takes office in a time of national tumult and uncertainty, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a deeply divided nation.

He addressed both matters in his first speech as president, saying “this is a time for boldness.”

“Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy and in truth. A raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is, we faced them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we’ve had. Now, we’re going to be tested. Are we going to step up, all of us? It’s time for boldness for there’s so much to do. And this is certain: I promise you, we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era,” Biden said.

History made

Meanwhile, Kamala Harris has made history as the first Black, South Asian, and female vice president.

Harris wore purple for her inauguration in a nod to women’s rights, the colour has been significant to the suffragette movement.

Ahead of the inauguration, she took a moment to honour her Indian mother and grandmother, and all those who came before her.

In India, in her maternal grandfather’s home village of Thulasendrapuram, people have been setting off firecrackers and saying prayers for Harris.

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said in December, after the election was confirmed by the electoral college.

It was just two weeks ago that an angry mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, where Wednesday’s ceremony was held. With fears of more violence, Washington, D.C. was virtually locked down, with thousands of National Guard troops deployed to the U.S. capital in preparation.

-With files from The Associated Press