Joe Biden has officially become President of the United States, after being sworn in at the Capitol Building on Wednesday 20th January, at midday local time.
Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States replacing Donald Trump. Biden, now 78 years old, became the oldest US president in history. Before Biden was inaugurated, Kamala Harris was sworn in as US Vice President.
Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, became the first black and Asian American woman to serve as vice president after she was given the oath of office by US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor is the first woman of colour to hold a seat on the court.
Several Republican party leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence and the party congressional leader Mitch McConnell, attended Biden’s inauguration. Also in attendance were former US Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
During the event, Donald Trump was not seen. Trump left the White House for the last time just after 8am local time by helicopter bound for Joint Air Force Base Andrews.
Trump’s refusal to greet his successor before attending the inauguration marks a break with more than a century and a half of political tradition seen as a way of asserting a peaceful transfer of power.
Biden’s inauguration ceremony was held in front of the heavily fortified US Capitol Building, where a crowd of Trump supporters stormed the building two weeks ago. The violence prompted the Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives to impeach Trump last week for an unprecedented second time.
Biden, having pledged to “restore the American soul,” went on to call for American unity in times of crisis in his inaugural address.
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