Joe Biden sworn-in as America’s 46th President
Joe Biden officially took oath as the 46th President of the USA, in a historic yet toned down celebration at the Capitol. Kamala Devi Harris was sworn-in as vice-president of the United States, becoming not only the first woman to hold the office but the first Black and Asian American person to do so.
Traditionally, the former President attends the swearing-in ceremony to hand over the office to the new incumbent. However, Donald Trump did not attend the ceremony but went to his home in Florida without handing over the office. He became the first president since Andrew Johnson in 1869 not to attend his successor’s inauguration. Former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton were present at the ceremony.
The 78-year-old Democrat took the oath of office at the Capitol in front of a sparse crowd. More than 200,000 US flags were put in front of the building representing the absent supporters of the President. There was no inauguration parade, nor the post-ceremony ball. Instead many artists performed for more than 90 minutes for the audience watching the ceremony at home on their television screens.
Tough times ahead
Biden entered the White House exactly two weeks after a mob inflamed by his predecessor, Donald Trump, stormed the Capitol, disrupting the transition to Biden’s administration and leaving five people dead. Not only he inherits a country battered by a slowing economy, high unemployment rates and severe pandemic crisis but also a nation which is heavily polarised after the Black Lives Matter movement.
Did you know?
Joe Biden has run for presidency twice in the past- in 1988 and in 2008. As a youngster, Biden played on his high school football team and they were undefeated in 1960. Biden grew up with a stutter and often recited Yeats to get rid of it.