Biden became the 46th president of the United States this week at the ceremony at the US Capitol in Washington DC, two weeks after the same building was subject to a violent insurrection from a pro-Trump mob.
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According to Nielsen (via Variety), approximately 39.87 million people watched Biden’s inauguration across the six major TV networks in the United States, up 4% on the figure of 38.35 million for Trump’s 2017 inauguration.
9.9 million of those watched the half-hour swearing in ceremony on CNN, rising 196% from its 2017 figures of 3.375 million. The conservative Fox News, meanwhile, suffered a 77% drop in ratings from its 2017 high of over 11 million.
Making his first official speech as president at the ceremony, Biden said that “democracy has prevailed” in the US.
“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve,” he told the crowd.
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.
Going on to reference the riots from Trump supporters that took place at the Capitol earlier this month, the president added: “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.”
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.”