Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take charge of US administration
21 January 2021
Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were on Wednesday sworn in as the 46th President and the 49th vice president, respectively, of the United States at a scaled down ceremony, amidst unprecedented security with thousands of security personnel taking charge of Capitol.
The 78-year-old Joe Biden becomes the oldest to be sworn in as President of the United States, while Kamala Harris, 56, became the first woman Vice President of the United States.
Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Joe Biden while Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina member of the Supreme Court, administered the oath of office to Kamala Haris, creating a first for two coloured immigrant women.
The 59th presidential inauguration was held at the West Front of the Capitol, where the deadly violence took place just two weeks ago, under the watch of more than 25,000 National Guards, who have transformed the capital into a garrison city.
Outgoing President Donald Trump also became the first president to skip his successor's inauguration since Andrew Johnson in 1869. However, outgoing Vice President Mike Pence attended the ceremony.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton. Former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton were also present.
Around 1,000 people attended the swearing-in ceremony, including Supreme Court justices and members of Congress, who were limited to just one guest each due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Veteran Democrat leader and former vice president in the Barak Obama administration Joe Biden becomes President of the United States at an extraordinary time when the country faces problems from within and outside – the coronavirus pandemic, the social unease and trade wars with partner nations.
The country is far from recovering from the devastation of a raging pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans and created economic catastrophe for millions while the US economy has been badly bruised – both by the pandemic and the ongoing trade war with China, the country’s top trading partner.