Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take oaths as President and Vice President

VP Joe Biden vice president candidate

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At 11:49 a.m. ET Wednesday, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and was honored by the playing of “Hail to the Chief.”

Former President Trump left the White House by helicopter earlier in the morning en route to Joint Base Andrews before heading to Palm Beach.

Also Wednesday morning, Kamala Harris became the first woman to be U.S. Vice President. Harris is also the first Black woman and first person of South Asian descent to hold that role. Harris was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and took her oath on a Bible that once belonged to Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Joe Biden

Then-Vice President Joe Biden speaks at University of Tampa. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (11 May 2016).

In his Inaugural address, Biden referenced the recent deadly attack on the Capitol by a mob of violent Trump supporters.

Earlier Wednesday morning, Trump ended his public presidency with a speech. He hinted about a comeback despite a legacy of chaos and bitter divisions in the country he led for four years. Then he left for Palm Beach to the sound of the Village People’s gay anthem “YMCA.”

Calm prevailed in Washington, D.C., and outside heavily fortified state capitol buildings across the U.S. as Biden was sworn in. Troops in riot gear lined the streets of the nation’s capital, but there were no crowds. The FBI had warned of the possibility of armed demonstrations leading up to the inauguration. It came after Trump repeatedly and falsely claimed the election was stolen from him. About ten Trump supporters gathered in Tallahassee.

In his first official acts as president, Biden is signing executive orders today on a broad range of issues, from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change and immigration. He’ll require that masks be work in federal buildings to try to slow the spread of coronavirus. He’s directing the U.S. to rejoin the World Health Organization and the Paris climate accords. And Biden is stopping the construction of the border wall and reversing Trump’s policies on immigration.


information from the Associated Press was used in this report


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