Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday in a historic but scaled-down ceremony under the unprecedented security umbrella of thousands of security personnel, who transformed the Capitol into a fortress to prevent any breach by pro-Trump extremists.
The 78-year-old veteran Democratic leader was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts at the West Front of the Capitol – the traditional location for presidential inaugural ceremonies.
Meanwhile, Kamala Devi Harris created history on this day by becoming the first woman, first Black and first South Asian to become the Vice President of the US.
Harris was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina woman to sit in the nation’s apex court, shortly before Joe Biden was to be sworn-in as the US President.
The inauguration was held under the unprecedented security umbrella of more than 25,000 National Guards, who have transformed the capital into a garrison city, mainly because of the threat of more violent protests by the supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, who became the first president to skip his successor’s inauguration since Andrew Johnson in 1869.
Biden, who is the oldest president in American history, took the oath by placing his left hand on his 127-year-old family Bible, which was held by his wife, Jill Biden. He used the same Bible during his swearing in as vice president and seven times as senator from Delaware.
The 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.
Biden enters the White House with the top challenge to lift the country from the devastation of a raging pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans and thrown millions into economic distress. Revival of the economy, which has been badly bruised by the pandemic, is another challenge that he faces.