Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th U.S. president during an inauguration ceremony in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“I, Joseph Robinette Biden, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully discharge the duties of President of the United States and to the best of my ability, uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” the new American president said as he placed his hand on the Bible
Moments before him, Kamala Harris, who became the first woman vice president of the United States, took the oath of office.
The ceremony was attended by outgoing Vice President Mike Pence, former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and their spouses. Lady Gaga, who arrived on the stage wearing a gown with a puffy red skirt and a giant brooch in the shape of a dove carrying an olive branch in its beak, sang the U.S. national anthem. In addition, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks performed at the festivities.
A Course for Unity and Healing
During his first speech as the 46th president of the United States, Biden emphasized that his election was a triumph not of an individual candidate, but of democracy itself. “We have learned again that democracy is priceless and fragile, but in this hour, my friends, democracy has triumphed,” the politician said.
He stressed that all his thoughts are now focused on rallying the nation. “I promise I will be president for all Americans. I will fight just as hard for those who did not support me as I did for those who were on my side,” Biden said.
The new American president stressed that there is “much to repair, rebuild, heal, build and gain in the country.” According to him, America faces many challenges at the same time. Among them are the attack on American democracy, the raging coronavirus, growing inequality, systemic racism and the climate crisis.
It takes much more than words to overcome these challenges, to heal the soul and protect America’s future. It requires the most elusive element of democracy: unity
46th U.S. President Joe Biden
Speaking of fighting the pandemic, Biden recalled that more Americans have already died from the coronavirus than during World War II. “We’re going to need all the strength we can get to withstand this dark winter. We are on the cusp of what may prove to be the most difficult and deadly period of the pandemic,” Biden said. He called for forgetting political differences and fighting COVID-19 as one nation. The politician also declared a moment of silence in memory of those killed by the coronavirus.
On the first day of his presidency, Biden is expected to reverse several decisions made by his predecessor, Donald Trump. In particular, Biden will lift restrictions on entry into the U.S. for citizens of a number of Muslim countries. The new president also plans to stop the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico, begun by his predecessor.
In addition, the politician intends to return to the Paris climate agreement, from which Washington withdrew under Trump, and to announce the return of the U.S. to the World Health Organization (WHO), which the country was to leave by early summer by order of the former president
Another priority of the new administration will be a return to negotiations with Iran to restore the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement in May 2018 and the imposition of economic sanctions against Tehran led to a spike in tensions in the Middle East.
Biden also promised to ensure that the Equality Act – which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation – is passed within 100 days.
Trump flew out, but promised to return
Contrary to 150-year-old tradition, Donald Trump refused to attend the inauguration and left Washington hours before the festivities. In the morning he said goodbye to his supporters at a military airfield in Maryland. He promised that he would continue to fight for their interests and keep an eye on what’s happening in the country. In doing so, he said, a bright future awaits the country. He wished success and good luck to the new administration, noting that his government has created all the prerequisites for this.
The politician also listed what he considers to be the key achievements of his administration: the creation of the U.S. Space Force, improving the country’s economy and the development of a coronavirus vaccine in record time. “Goodbye. We love you. We’ll be back in one form or another,” Trump said and headed for the plane to a YMCA song
Whether the politician can make it back to the Oval Office is an open question. On Jan. 14, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump over the unrest in Washington. It was reported that consideration of Trump’s impeachment in the Senate could take place almost immediately after Joe Biden’s inauguration. Meanwhile, Democrat Chuck Schumer, who became majority leader in the upper chamber, announced plans to vote on an additional initiative: banning Trump from holding public office.