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Joe Biden Officially Becomes The 46th President Of The United States

Joe Biden Officially Becomes The 46th President Of The United States

The 78-year-old was sworn in during a ceremony at the Capitol

Dominic Smithers

Dominic Smithers

Joe Biden has officially become the 46th President of the United States.

The 78-year-old was sworn in during his inauguration ceremony at the Capitol today (20 January), taking over from Donald Trump - who was not present at the event.

Kamala Harris has also been sworn in as the 49th Vice President, the first woman to do so.

Reciting the presidential oath, Mr Biden said: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

He then went on to address the nation, assuring the country that 'democracy had prevailed' after a troubling few weeks and months.

Mr Biden said: "A new America has risen to the challenge today. We celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy.

Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

"The people, the will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.

"We've learnt again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, our friends democracy has prevailed."

Mr Biden went on to urge people to come together and dismiss the tide of extremism and racism, and pledged to work 'as hard for those who didn't vote for him as for those who did'.

He said: "My whole soul is in this, bringing America together.

"I ask every American to join me in this cause. To fight the foes we face: anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness.

"With unity, we can do great things, important things, we can right wrongs.

"We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world."

And referencing, though not by name, the legacy of the Trump administration and the attacks on the Capitol on 6 January, Mr Biden said 'there is truth and there are lies', and that it was time to heal divisions.

He added: "Each of us has a defend the truth and defeat the lies.

"We must end this uncivil war that pits red versus blue. In the work ahead, we're going to need each other."

Kamala Harris became the first female Vice President of the United States.

According to his aides, Mr Biden's first acts as President are expected to see him undo a number of the policies implemented by his predecessor, including ending the construction of 'The Wall' between Mexico and the US, stopping the travel ban from some Muslim-majority countries, and rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organisation.

He will sign 15 executive orders - joining just two other presidents in signing executive actions on their first day, who only signed one each.

Mr Biden is also expected to review all of Trump's regulations and executive actions, in particular any of those that are potentially damaging to the environment or to public health.

Federal agencies will be ordered to prioritise racial equality and review any policies seen to reinforce systemic racism.

Biden will also revoke an order that Trump used in the hope of excluding non-citizens from the census.

Trump became only the fourth president in the country's history, after John Adams in 1801, John Quincy Adams in 1829 and Andrew Johnson in 1869, to boycott the inauguration of their successor.

However, White House staff have confirmed that the outgoing president did leave President Biden a letter before he left office.

This meant he was unable, as is tradition, to hand over the 'nuclear football' to President Biden.

The briefcase contains the equipment the President would use to order a nuclear attack, including plans, access to command, and control systems, as well as the mechanism for authorising the nuclear codes.

The President must also carry the 'nuclear biscuit' - a plastic card containing codes that identify the President and give him the authority to authorise a nuclear attack - at all times.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: joe biden, US Politics, US News, Donald Trump, Politics