Joseph R. Biden, Jr., has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, taking the reins of power at a perilous time in American history as a bitterly divided country grapples with the deadliest pandemic in a century.
He was sworn into office by Chief Justice John Roberts using a Bible that has been in his family since 1893 and was used during his swearing-in as vice president in 2009 and 2013.
“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day,” Mr. Biden said in his inaugural address. “Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause. The cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people, has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded.”
Noting that he was being inaugurated on the Capitol steps just two weeks after it was stormed by a pro-Trump mob, Mr. Biden said that the country had learned that “democracy is precious, democracy is fragile, and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath of office for Kamala Harris as U.S. vice president. With her hand on the Bible held by her husband, Harris swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Harris is the first woman vice president, as well as the first Black and Asian-American vice president.
Mr. Biden takes over at a time of tremendous upheaval and division, fueled both by his predecessor and the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 Americans.
According CBS report, the inauguration ceremony was unlike any the country has ever seen, with a new president addressing an empty National Mall while thousands of National Guard troops stood watch over downtown Washington. The Mall was filled with thousands of small flags representing Americans who might otherwise have been in attendance, were it not for the pandemic.