Joe Biden on Wednesday became the 46th president of the United States after being sworn in by the chief justice John Roberts, ushering in a “new day” for the United States after four years of tumult under Donald Trump who in an extraordinary final act, snubbed the inauguration.
Two weeks to the day after Trump supporters violently rampaged at the US Capitol to overturn the election results, Biden took the oath and got sworn in on the same very steps alongside Kamala Harris, who was sworn in moments earlier as the first woman vice president.
Biden, putting his hand on a family Bible, repeated after Chief Justice John Roberts the presidential oath, that he will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
“It’s a new day in America,” Biden wrote on Twitter before the inauguration as, in a sign of his push for unity, he prayed alongside congressional leaders at a Roman Catholic church.
Biden, who at 78 is the oldest president in US history and only the second Catholic, took office amid enormous challenges with the still-raging Covid-19 pandemic having claimed 400,000 lives in the United States.
Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, became the highest-ranking woman in US history and the first person of color as the nation’s number two.
She and her husband Doug Emhoff — America’s first-ever ‘second gentleman.’