Joe Biden has been officially sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.
Biden’s presidential inauguration ceremony is currently taking place at the US Capitol in Washington D.C., with Donald Trump having bid farewell to the White House earlier today (January 20).
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Following a performance of the US national anthem from Lady Gaga, Biden was officially declared president before he addressed the nation and a limited crowd that is gathered at Capitol Hill.
“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve,” Biden’s speech began.
“Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested and it has risen to the challenge. Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, a cause of democracy.”
Joe Biden continued: “The people – the will of the people – has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We’ve learned again that democracy is precious; democracy is fragile. And at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed.”
Referencing the riots from Trump supporters that took place at the Capitol earlier this month, the president said: “On this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.
“As we look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on a nation we know we can be and we must be, I thank my predecessors of both parties. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
The new POTUS later said that his “whole soul is in this”, adding: “Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the foes we face – anger, resentment and hatred. Extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness.”
Kamala Harris, meanwhile, made history by becoming the first female, Black and south Asian vice president of the United States. She promised that “a new chapter begins today”, vowing to serve in her new role “for the people – always”.
Making his final speech as president, Donald Trump told his supporters that “we will back in some form” in the future. “Have a good life,” he said. “We will see you soon.”