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Thursday, 21 January 2021

Joe Biden takes part in virtual prayer service broadcast from National Cathedral in final act of his COVID-safe inauguration – before getting to work on dealing with pandemic

 Joe Biden will kick off his first full day as president Thursday by participating in a virtual inauguration prayer service before getting to work on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

At 10:00 a.m. Thursday morning, the Washington National Cathedral will host a live-streamed prayer service rather than in-person like past years. Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will watch the service together from the White House as the final act of Biden's inauguration.

After the service, Biden and Harris will receive their first presidential daily briefing.


Biden will then give remarks from the White House on his administration's plan to address the prevailing COVID-19 crisis before signing more executive orders and presidential actions in relation to the prevailing pandemic.

Following the public update on COVID-19, Biden and Harris will then receive a private briefing from their White House coronavirus response team – specifically in regards to the state of vaccinations.

Biden promised that within his first 100 days as president, he would make sure 100 million vaccinations were distributed and administered.

Joe Biden will close out his inaugural events Thursday morning by watching a virtual inauguration prayer service hosted by the Washington National Cathedral – shown here lit up Wednesday night in honor of the swearing-in of the 46th president

Joe Biden will close out his inaugural events Thursday morning by watching a virtual inauguration prayer service hosted by the Washington National Cathedral – shown here lit up Wednesday night in honor of the swearing-in of the 46th president

Faith is very important to Biden, who is only the second Catholic U.S. president ever. On Wednesday morning, in lieu of meeting with the outgoing president, Biden attending church service at St. Matthews Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.

Faith is very important to Biden, who is only the second Catholic U.S. president ever. On Wednesday morning, in lieu of meeting with the outgoing president, Biden attending church service at St. Matthews Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.

Following the prayer service, which will be attended by the two first couples, Biden will gives remarks on his administration's plan to address the coroanvirus pandemic before signing more executive orders and actions related to the COVID-19 crisis

Following the prayer service, which will be attended by the two first couples, Biden will gives remarks on his administration's plan to address the coroanvirus pandemic before signing more executive orders and actions related to the COVID-19 crisis


Jeffrey Zients, a veteran of the Obama administration, will serve as head of the COVID-19 task force.

On Day One, just hours after he was sworn in, Biden signed an executive order mandating mask-wearing in all federal buildings and federal lands and required employees of the federal government to adhere to the order.

This was just one of the 17 executive orders and actions Biden signed during his first few hours as president – much of the orders undoing Donald Trump's legacy.

Biden spoke from the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday evening, urging in his remarks that Americans 'unify' and 'meet the moment'.

Then fireworks burst over the White House and National Mall on Wednesday night as the star-studded 'Celebrating America' event came to a stunning close – with Biden and his wife and extended family watching from the Truman Balcony.

The largely virtual inauguration day events offered a night of socially distanced music as a pandemic-era replacement for the traditional bevy of inaugural balls.

Speaking next to the Lincoln memorial at the beginning of the show, just hours after being sworn in as the 46th US President, Biden reiterated his calls for unity and offered optimistic assertions that the best is still yet to come for the United States.   

'It is humbling to stand here in this place in front of these sacred words. Humbling out of respect to President Lincoln and the office we now share and humbling because of you, the American people.

'As I said earlier today, we have learned again that democracy is precious and because of you democracy has prevailed.'

Biden continued that he and First Lady Jill, in addition to Vice President Kamala Harris and Doug, 'wanted to make sure out inauguration was not about us but about you, the American people.'

'This is a great nation. We're a good people and [to] overcome the challenges in front of us requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy — unity. It requires us to come together in common love that defines us as Americans,' he said.

After listing difficulties faced by the nation including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, an economic crisis, racial injustice, climate change and internal threats to the country's democracy, Biden rhetorically asked if Americans felt up to the challenge.

'Will we meet the moment like our forebears have?' he asked. 'I believe we must and I believe we will. You, the American people are the reason why I have never been more optimistic about America that I am this very day.'

'There isn't anything we can't do, if we do it together,' he added. 'So thank you for this honor, I will give my all to you.'  

In her first address as the nation's Vice President, meanwhile, Kamala Harris talked about the power of 'American Aspiration'.  

Joe and Jill Biden are seen huddling together on the Truman Balcony as the Celebrating America show came to a stunning close

Joe and Jill Biden are seen huddling together on the Truman Balcony as the Celebrating America show came to a stunning close

The new president and first lady pose with their family in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln, described by the some as the last president to have inherited such severe crises as Biden

The new president and first lady pose with their family in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln, described by the some as the last president to have inherited such severe crises as Biden 

Katy Perry performed with the Washington Monument behind her during Biden's inaugural bash on Wednesday evening

Katy Perry performed with the Washington Monument behind her during Biden's inaugural bash on Wednesday evening 

Tom Hanks hosted the 'Celebrating America' show from in front of the Lincoln Memorial after the 46th president was sworn in

Tom Hanks hosted the 'Celebrating America' show from in front of the Lincoln Memorial after the 46th president was sworn in

The primetime broadcast also featured an appearance by former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama in a show of unity after the inauguration. Jimmy Carter, 96, stayed in Georgia as he has done for most of the pandemic, while Donald Trump headed to Florida before his term was over and boycotted Biden's swearing-in

The primetime broadcast also featured an appearance by former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama in a show of unity after the inauguration. Jimmy Carter, 96, stayed in Georgia as he has done for most of the pandemic, while Donald Trump headed to Florida before his term was over and boycotted Biden's swearing-in 

President Joe Biden (L) and First Lady Jill Biden (2nd L) appear on the Blue Room Balcony as they and family members (R) watch fireworks

President Joe Biden (L) and First Lady Jill Biden (2nd L) appear on the Blue Room Balcony as they and family members (R) watch fireworks

Fireworks are seen above the White House during the ceremony's closing

Biden speaks at Lincoln's feet during Wednesday's festivities, as the inauguration passed off with no security threats

Biden speaks at Lincoln's feet during Wednesday's festivities, as the inauguration passed off with no security threats 

Bruce Springsteen played a guitar on the steps of Lincoln Memorial where Biden himself appeared on Wednesday evening

Bruce Springsteen played a guitar on the steps of Lincoln Memorial where Biden himself appeared on Wednesday evening

Vice-President Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff dance along at the "Celebrating America" event at the Lincoln Memorial

Vice-President Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff dance along at the 'Celebrating America' event at the Lincoln Memorial

President Joe Biden reiterated his calls for unity and insisted he believes the ‘best is yet to come’ for the nation during his speech at the primetime inauguration special, Celebrating America, on Wednesday night

President Joe Biden reiterated his calls for unity and insisted he believes the 'best is yet to come' for the nation during his speech at the primetime inauguration special, Celebrating America, on Wednesday night

Speaking at the Lincoln Memorial just hours after he was sworn into office as the 46th US President, Biden said: ‘It is humbling to stand here in this place in front of these sacred words'

Speaking at the Lincoln Memorial just hours after he was sworn into office as the 46th US President, Biden said: 'It is humbling to stand here in this place in front of these sacred words'

‘Will we meet the moment like our forebears have?’ he asked. ‘I believe we must and I believe we will. You, the American people are the reason why I have never been more optimistic about America that I am this very day'

'Will we meet the moment like our forebears have?' he asked. 'I believe we must and I believe we will. You, the American people are the reason why I have never been more optimistic about America that I am this very day'

President Joe Biden adjusts his coat while first lady Jill Biden holds his gloves as they stand in the Lincoln Memorial

President Joe Biden adjusts his coat while first lady Jill Biden holds his gloves as they stand in the Lincoln Memorial

In her first address as the nation's Vice President, meanwhile, Kamala Harris talked about the power of 'American Aspiration'.

In her first address as the nation's Vice President, meanwhile, Kamala Harris talked about the power of 'American Aspiration'.


With the Washington Monument lit up behind her Wednesday night, Harris called on Americans to remember 'we are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up.'

She also cast her ascension as the first female vice president as a demonstration of the nation's character.

'In many this moment embodies our character as a nation. It demonstrates who we are, even in dark times. We, not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, fearless and ambitious. We are undaunted, in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up. This is American aspiration,' she said. 

Harris, the first ever Vice President of color, continued by paying tribute to the accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, who she credited for seeing 'a better future and built it with land grant colleges, and the transcontinental railroad.' 

She also lauded the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. and his tireless efforts to fight for racial and economic justice. 

'A great experiment, takes great determination. The will to do the work and then the wisdom to keep refining, keep tinkering, keep perfecting. The same and determination is being realized in America today,' she said. ' 


Harris also gave a nod to American scientists, parents and teachers who are persevering through the coronavirus pandemic and encouraged people to 'see beyond crises.'

'I see it in the scientists who are transforming the future, I see it in the parents who are nurturing generations to come and in the innovators, the educators, in everyone, everywhere who are nurses and educators, everyone everywhere who is building a better life for themselves, their families and their communities,' Harris continued.

'This too is American aspiration. this is what President Joe Biden has called upon us to summon now. The courage to see beyond crisis, to do what is hard, to do what is good, to unite, to believe in ourselves, believe in our country, believe in what we can do together.'  

The star-studded Celebrating America began at 8:30pm, and was hosted by Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, and co-hosted by fellow stars Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington.

To close out Inauguration Day, Biden and First Lady Jill huddled closely together on the Truman Balcony as a stunning firework display illuminated the skies above DC during a performance from Katy Perry. The Bidens' children and grandchildren danced and clapped on a neighboring ledge.

Harris and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff, meanwhile, watched on nearby from the Lincoln Memorial.

President Joe Biden holds his grandson Beau Biden inside the White House

President Joe Biden holds his grandson Beau Biden inside the White House

A display of fireworks over Washington, DC, closed out today's Inauguration Day events, with Joe and Jill watching on from the White House balcony

A display of fireworks over Washington, DC, closed out today's Inauguration Day events, with Joe and Jill watching on from the White House balcony

Fireworks burst over the Washington Monument during the "Celebrating America" event after the inauguration of Joe Biden

Fireworks burst over the Washington Monument during the 'Celebrating America' event after the inauguration of Joe Biden

A flurry of fireworks are seen lighting up the skies above the White House during Wednesday night's event

A flurry of fireworks are seen lighting up the skies above the White House during Wednesday night's event

With the Washington Monument lit up behind her Wednesday night, Harris called on Americans to remember 'we are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up'

With the Washington Monument lit up behind her Wednesday night, Harris called on Americans to remember 'we are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up'

Fireworks are seen over the National Mall during the "Celebrating America" event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington

Fireworks are seen over the National Mall during the 'Celebrating America' event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington

The Bidens' children and grandchildren danced and clapped on a neighboring ledge as Katy Perry sang Firework

Biden became the 46th US President when he was sworn into office Wednesday, succeeding Donald Trump

Biden became the 46th US President when he was sworn into office Wednesday, succeeding Donald Trump

National Guard soldiers watch as fireworks go off over the National Mall on Wednesday night

National Guard soldiers watch as fireworks go off over the National Mall on Wednesday night


During the event, in a show of bi-partisan unity, former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama came together to offer their shared best wishes for Biden, in addition to preaching the importance of a peaceful transition of power, and establishing unity across the nation. 

'We have got to not just listen to folks we agree with, but listen to folks we don't,' Obama said in conversation with his fellow ex-commander-in-chiefs. 'One of my fondest memories of the inauguration, was the grace and generosity that President Bush showed me, and Laura Bush showed Michelle,' he continued, making no mention of Trump.

'It was a reminder, that we can have a fierce disagreements and yet recognize each other's common humanity and that, as Americans, we have more in common than what separates us,' he continued. 'If in fact...we are looking for what binds us together, the American people are strong, there're tough, they can get through hardship and there's no problem they cannot solve, when we are working together.'

Clinton, meanwhile, said he was 'glad' Biden had triumphed in the 2020 election, and said 'we're ready to march with you'. 

'We are both trying to come back to normalcy, deal with totally abnormal challenges, and do what we do best, which is try to make a more perfect union. It's an exciting time.'

Bush added: 'I think the fact that the three of us are standing here talking about a peaceful transfer of power, speaks to the institutional integrity of our country.

'America's a generous country, people of great hearts. All three of us were lucky to be the president of this country,' he continued. 'Mr. President, I'm pulling for your success. Your success is our country's success. God bless you.'  

'We have got to not just listen to folks we agree with, but listen to folks we don't,' Obama said in conversation with his fellow ex-commander-in-chiefs. 'One of my fondest memories of the inauguration, was the grace and generosity that President Bush showed me, and Laura Bush showed Michelle,' he continued, making no mention of Trump

'We have got to not just listen to folks we agree with, but listen to folks we don't,' Obama said in conversation with his fellow ex-commander-in-chiefs. 'One of my fondest memories of the inauguration, was the grace and generosity that President Bush showed me, and Laura Bush showed Michelle,' he continued, making no mention of Trump

President Joe Biden prepares before he addresses the nation at the Celebrating America event at the Lincoln Memorial after the inauguration

President Joe Biden prepares before he addresses the nation at the Celebrating America event at the Lincoln Memorial after the inauguration

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation at the Celebrating America event at the Lincoln Memorial

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation at the Celebrating America event at the Lincoln Memorial

irst Lady Jill Biden and daughter Ashley look on as the US president speaks to the nation, hours after being sworn into office

irst Lady Jill Biden and daughter Ashley look on as the US president speaks to the nation, hours after being sworn into office

Speaking next to the Lincoln memorial at the beginning of the show, Biden reiterated is calls for unity and offered optimistic assertions that the best is still yet to come for the United States.

Speaking next to the Lincoln memorial at the beginning of the show, Biden reiterated is calls for unity and offered optimistic assertions that the best is still yet to come for the United States.

Biden's grandchildren and family members watch on as he gives remarks the to American people at the beginning of the event

Biden's grandchildren and family members watch on as he gives remarks the to American people at the beginning of the event

Harris, the first ever Vice President of color, gave a nod to the accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, who she credited for seeing 'a better future and built it with land grant colleges, and the transcontinental railroad'

Harris, the first ever Vice President of color, gave a nod to the accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, who she credited for seeing 'a better future and built it with land grant colleges, and the transcontinental railroad'

U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff attend the 'Celebrating America' event at the Lincoln Memorial

U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff attend the 'Celebrating America' event at the Lincoln Memorial

Fireworks are visible with COVID-19 memorial lights surrounding the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument

Fireworks are visible with COVID-19 memorial lights surrounding the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument

Trump left a note on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, one of the rare traditions he followed in the peaceful transfer of power

Trump left a note on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, one of the rare traditions he followed in the peaceful transfer of power

National Guard soldiers watch as fireworks go off over the National Mall during the inauguration of President Joe Biden

National Guard soldiers watch as fireworks go off over the National Mall during the inauguration of President Joe Biden

Earlier, rock legend Bruce Springsteen sang 'Land of Hope and Dreams' as he stood alone with his guitar in front of the Lincoln Memorial to open the show. 

Springsteen said, 'Good evening, America,' to open the 90-minute special airing across several networks.

Performing the 1999 song of solace, Springsteen sang, 'I will provide for you, and I'll stand by your side. You'll need a good companion, for this part of the ride.'

R&B singer John Legend delivered a funky, soulful live rendition of Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good,' and Katy Perry closed out the evening with her smash-hit 'Firework' as a display of fireworks erupted behind her.

'It was so special for me to celebrate with the nation in front of the memorial,' tweeted Legend following his performance. 'AND I loved honoring the late great Nina Simone, my constant source of musical inspiration.'

Other musical contributions throughout the show included performances from Foo Fighters, Justin Timerlake and Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, and Demi Lovato, who covered Bill Withers' 'Lovely Day' along with a chorus of fans which included healthcare workers. 

Biden danced with his youngest grandchild, Beau, in his arms as Lovato performed a cover of Bill Withers' 'Lovely Day' with a chorus of fans, some of whom were hospital workers.

The baby is the son of Hunter Biden, 50, and his South African wife Melissa Cohen, 32. The pair married in May 2019, two weeks after they first met, and their son was born in March. He is named after Hunter's brother, who died of brain cancer in 2015, aged 46.

Biden danced with his youngest grandchild, Beau, in his arms as Lovato performed

Biden danced with his youngest grandchild, Beau, in his arms as Lovato performed 

The baby is the son of Hunter Biden, 50, and his South African wife Melissa Cohen, 32. The pair married in May 2019, two weeks after they first met, and their son was born in March. He is named after Hunter's brother, who died of brain cancer in 2015, aged 46

The baby is the son of Hunter Biden, 50, and his South African wife Melissa Cohen, 32. The pair married in May 2019, two weeks after they first met, and their son was born in March. He is named after Hunter's brother, who died of brain cancer in 2015, aged 46 


Host Tom Hanks introduced the show with a somber message, saying: 'In the last few weeks, in the last few years, we've witnessed deep divisions and a troubling rancor in our land. But tonight we ponder the United States of America.' 

'The practice of our democracy, the foundations of our republic, the integrity of our Constitution, the hope and dreams we all share for a more perfect union.

'To some, a presidential inauguration is a tradition, an act that marks the commitment of a new four-year term. Yet, in truth, Inauguration Day is more than the swearing in of the next national leaders. This day is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal.'

A special broadcast came from the International Space Station roughly 200 miles above earth, from NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and American crew members from Expedition 64.

'We're up here working with our international partners to find new scientific breakthroughs from improved vaccines to safer drinking water to help people all over the world,' Rubins said. 'Just as we're celebrating two decades of global cooperation and space, it's truly an honor for us to celebrate America today. As we unite for this historic inaugural tradition that spans more than two centuries.' 

Brayden Harrington, a 13-year-old who bonded with Biden earlier this year over their shared experience with stuttering, also made an appearance.

'In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger, I do not shrink from that responsibility. I welcome it,' Harrington said. 

'I do not believe that any of us will exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what can you do for your country,' Harrington, who also spoke during last year's Democratic National Convention, continued. 

Host Tom Hanks, also at the Lincoln Memorial, introduced the show by saying, 'In the last few weeks, in the last few years, we've witnessed deep divisions and a troubling rancor in our land. But tonight we ponder the United States of America'

Springsteen said, 'Good evening, America,' to open the 90-minute special airing across several networks on Wednesday night in place of the usual official inaugural balls

Springsteen said, 'Good evening, America,' to open the 90-minute special airing across several networks on Wednesday night in place of the usual official inaugural balls

Other musical contributions throughout the show included live performances from Foo Fighters, Justin Timerlake and Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, and John Legend, who sang a rendition of 'Feeling Good'.
Jon Bon Jovi

Other musical contributions throughout the show included live performances from Foo Fighters, Justin Timerlake (left) and Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi (right), and John Legend, who sang a rendition of 'Feeling Good'.

Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons Perform Better Days for Biden Inauguration, which released at midnight

Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons Perform Better Days for Biden Inauguration, which released at midnight

R&B singer John Legend delivered a funky, soulful live rendition of Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good'

R&B singer John Legend delivered a funky, soulful live rendition of Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good'

Demi Lovato sang along a chorus of virtual fans, including healthcare workers

Demi Lovato sang along a chorus of virtual fans, including healthcare workers 

Katy Perry sand her hit-single Firework as a procession of fire works lit up the skies above Washing DC on Wednesday

Looking ahead: Earlier Wednesday, President Biden appeared in the Oval Office for the first time to sign new executive orders and read the 'private' letter Donald Trump left for him

Looking ahead: Earlier Wednesday, President Biden appeared in the Oval Office for the first time to sign new executive orders and read the 'private' letter Donald Trump left for him

Earlier Wednesday, President Biden appeared in the Oval Office for the first time to sign new executive orders and read the 'private' letter Donald Trump left for him.

'The president wrote a very generous letter,' Biden said. 'Because it was private, I won't talk about it until I talk to him. But it was generous.'

Trump left a note on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, one of the rare traditions he followed in the peaceful transfer of power. Trump never invited Biden to the White House after the election nor did he attend Biden's inauguration.

Biden wore a face mask as he sat behind the Resolute Desk to sign the executive orders. The visual was a stark change to former President Trump, who rarely wore a covering.

'I thought there's no time to wait,' he said. 'There's no time to start like today.'

There was a large stack of folders on the desk and pictures of his family decorated the credenza behind him.

Biden signed three executive actions: one ordering a mask mandate on federal property, another providing 'support for under served communities' and the third was to rejoin the Paris climate accord. Trump removed the United States from the climate agreement and Biden vowed to restore America to the accord on the first day of his presidency.

'As we indicated we will sign a number of the executive orders over the next several days to a week and I'm going to start today. The crisis of Covid-19 along with the economic crisis, and the climate crisis, the executive actions that we are signing will help change the course of the crisis,' he said.  Biden is expected to sign many more executive orders in the day to come.

Shortly after signing the orders, Biden swore in nearly 1,000 federal appointees and staff in a virtual ceremony in the State Dining Room at the White House. He spoke from behind a lectern, while the appointees appeared at the event via video streams set up on a series of television screens.

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them 'on the spot.' He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump's White House.  

And in another clear reference to Trump's administration, Biden's White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in her first briefing that she will strive to bring truth and transparency.

President Joe Biden appeared in the Oval Office for the first time on Wednesday afternoon to sign new executive orders and read the 'private' letter Donald Trump left for him

President Joe Biden appeared in the Oval Office for the first time on Wednesday afternoon to sign new executive orders and read the 'private' letter Donald Trump left for him

Biden wore a face mask as he sat behind the Resolute Desk to sign the executive orders. The visual was a stark change to former President Trump, who rarely wore a covering. 'I thought there's no time to wait,' he said. 'There's no time to start like today'

Biden wore a face mask as he sat behind the Resolute Desk to sign the executive orders. The visual was a stark change to former President Trump, who rarely wore a covering. 'I thought there's no time to wait,' he said. 'There's no time to start like today' 

There was a large stack of folders on the desk and pictures of his family decorated the credenza behind him 

Biden swore in nearly 1,000 federal appointees and staff in a virtual ceremony in the State Dining Room at the White House. He spoke from behind a lectern, while the appointees appeared at the event via video streams set up on a series of television screens

Biden swore in nearly 1,000 federal appointees and staff in a virtual ceremony in the State Dining Room at the White House. He spoke from behind a lectern, while the appointees appeared at the event via video streams set up on a series of television screens 

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them 'on the spot.' He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump´s White House

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them 'on the spot.' He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump´s White House

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them 'on the spot.' He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump´s White House

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them 'on the spot.' He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump´s White House 

Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House Wednesday, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: 'It feels like I'm going home'

Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House Wednesday, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: 'It feels like I'm going home'

Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House Wednesday, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: 'It feels like I'm going home'

Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House Wednesday, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: 'It feels like I'm going home'

Biden strolled into the White House, with a university of Delaware and Howard University band playing a fanfare, along with First Lady Jill Biden, agents, and family members

Biden strolled into the White House, with a university of Delaware and Howard University band playing a fanfare, along with First Lady Jill Biden, agents, and family members

He kept up an inaugural tradition Barack Obama also maintained by walking for a brief portion of the parade route. But this time, Biden did it in the most secure part – Pennsylvania Avenue just in front of the White House, which was heavily secured

After past inaugurations, the new president and vice-president have traditionally traveled to Arlington, but on Wednesday afternoon the unofficial club of former presidents joined to echo the theme of Joe Biden's inaugural address. The 96-year-old Jimmy Carter did not come to the inauguration over COVID-19 concerns but congratulated Biden in a message

After past inaugurations, the new president and vice-president have traditionally traveled to Arlington, but on Wednesday afternoon the unofficial club of former presidents joined to echo the theme of Joe Biden's inaugural address. The 96-year-old Jimmy Carter did not come to the inauguration over COVID-19 concerns but congratulated Biden in a message

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff salute from the entrance of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff salute from the entrance of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House


Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: 'It feels like I'm going home.'  

It wasn't quite the same as the typical public stretches of the historic Avenue past presidents have walked for photo-ops. Coronavirus and security kept away usual onlookers. But there were children interspersed along the brief stretch outside the Treasury and White House, along with press and aides.

He also greeted D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser along the way – in a city that lacks representation in Congress that was the subject of street clashes and protests over the summer, and was put on lockdown by his inauguration and the Capitol riots.

Following suit was Vice President Kamala Harris, who left her own limo and got greeted by family members outside.

She and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff walked along a similar stretch, joined by his children and other family members. The first female vice president held hands with grand niece Amala as she approached the building.

'Madam Vice President!' shouted reporters trying to secure a comment. She was asked how it feels. 'Walking to work,' she said at one point.

The efforts to court the press were an attempt to reset relations with the media – the medium through which most Americans would see the inauguration with visitors all but shut down.

Donald Trump regularly railed against what he called the 'fake news,' whom he called the 'enemy of the people' – even as he provided frequent access to reporters during the period before the elections.

Harris then held hands with Emhoff, saluted a military honor guard, and walked up the steps to the Old Executive Office building, where the vice president's office is located. The long steps to the building were lined with their own honor guard.

Earlier in the afternoon, Biden and Harris had their first show of unity as they participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier besides past presidents and first ladies from both parties - with the obvious exception of Donald Trump. 

Standing behind Biden and Harris at Arlington National Cemetery were former presidents Barack Obama and first ladies Michelle; George W. Bush and Laura; and Bill Clinton and Hillary. 

The message of cross-party unity could not have been clearer: three former presidents and first ladies coming together to salute the fallen.

After past inaugurations, the new president and vice-president have traditionally traveled to Arlington, but on Wednesday afternoon the unofficial club of former presidents joined to echo the theme of Joe Biden's inaugural address. The 96-year-old Jimmy Carter did not come to the inauguration over COVID-19 concerns but congratulated Biden in a message. 

The scene of three former and one current commanders-in-chief mourning the fallen together underlined how Trump had made himself an outcast from America's smallest - and most exclusive - club. 

He had railed against all three former presidents, especially Obama, but had also dismissed Bush, privately calling him a 'dummy,' while his one-time friendship with Bill Clinton was shattered by the bitterness of the 2016 election campaign.

Biden signed three executive actions: one ordering a mask mandate on federal property, another providing 'support for under served communities' and the third was to rejoin the Paris climate accord. Trump removed the United States from the climate agreement and Biden vowed to restore America to the accord on the first day of his presidency

Biden signed three executive actions: one ordering a mask mandate on federal property, another providing 'support for under served communities' and the third was to rejoin the Paris climate accord. Trump removed the United States from the climate agreement and Biden vowed to restore America to the accord on the first day of his presidency 

'As we indicated we will sign a number of the executive orders over the next several days to a week and I'm going to start today. The crisis of Covid-19 along with the economic crisis, and the climate crisis, the executive actions that we are signing will help change the course of the crisis,' he said

'As we indicated we will sign a number of the executive orders over the next several days to a week and I'm going to start today. The crisis of Covid-19 along with the economic crisis, and the climate crisis, the executive actions that we are signing will help change the course of the crisis,' he said

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during her first press briefing at the White House

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during her first press briefing at the White House

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pause to wave while walking toward the North Portico of the White House

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pause to wave while walking toward the North Portico of the White House

On his way to the North portico of the building, he got asked what his message to the world was. 'Unity,' Biden responded

On his way to the North portico of the building, he got asked what his message to the world was. 'Unity,' Biden responded

A US Secret Service agent changes the license plate on President Joe Biden's limousine near the North Portico of the White House

A US Secret Service agent changes the license plate on President Joe Biden's limousine near the North Portico of the White House

U.S. President Joe Biden travels in the presidential limousine, known as "The Beast", with the new license plate number '46'

U.S. President Joe Biden travels in the presidential limousine, known as 'The Beast', with the new license plate number '46'

Following suit was Vice President Kamala Harris, who left her own limo and got greeted by family members outside

Following suit was Vice President Kamala Harris, who left her own limo and got greeted by family members outside

She and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff walked along a similar stretch, joined by his children and other family members. The first female vice president held hands with grand niece Amala as she approached the building

She and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff walked along a similar stretch, joined by his children and other family members. The first female vice president held hands with grand niece Amala as she approached the building

The hostility was reciprocated: Members of the Bush family were critical of Trump throughout his administration. Four years ago at inauguration, George W. Bush commented 'That was some weird s**t.'

In contrast, while Obama was extremely critical of Bush when running for president in 2008, those two families have developed a friendly relationship, especially between Bush and Michelle Obama. Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush became close friends after the 41st president's defeat. 

In his inaugural address, Biden issued a call for unity and promised to govern for 'all Americans' Wednesday, seeking to move the nation beyond the presidency of Donald Trump and what he described as an attack on democracy itself in his first remarks to the nation as president.

In a 22-minute address after he was sworn in 11 minutes early by Chief Justice John Roberts, Biden drew a sharp contrast between his presidency and the preceding four years, saying: 'My whole soul is in this. I'll keep everything I do in your service, thinking not of power but of possibilities, not of personal injuries but the public good.'

Biden did not mention Trump by name but wove a thread of contrast through his speech. He denounced 'lies told for power and for profit,' said 'there are truth and there are lies,' acknowledged the bitter divisions in the country as an 'uncivil war,' and referred to the MAGA mob which rioted in the place he spoke just two weeks ago, saying: 'Democracy prevailed.'

He spoke in unique circumstances: no crowds because of COVID and a security clampdown in the wake of the MAGA riot, and for the first time since 1869, his predecessor absent.

Trump had left Washington D.C. with a tub-thumping speech saying 'we will be back – in some form' and taken Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago, issuing a final pardon with less than an hour of his presidency left, and telling his friends he will start his own 'Patriot Party.'

On the dais on the Capitol steps, Biden put his hand on his family's Bible, held by his wife Jill, and took the oath, then addressed the nation for the first time as the 46th president.

United: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with (from left) Michelle and Barack Obama, Laura and George W. Bush and Hillary and Bill Clinton.

United: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with (from left) Michelle and Barack Obama, Laura and George W. Bush and Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Vice President Kamala Harris (center) and President Joe Biden (right) salute the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlinton National Cemetery

Vice President Kamala Harris (center) and President Joe Biden (right) salute the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlinton National Cemetery 

BIPARTISAN ALLIANCE: Standing behind the new president and vice president were (from left) Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton

BIPARTISAN ALLIANCE: Standing behind the new president and vice president were (from left) Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday 


He made unity the theme of his address and also highlighted the coronavirus hobbling the nation, taking a pause and asking for silent prayer for the more than 400,000 COVID dead. 

'To all those who supported our campaign, I'm humbled by the faith you've placed in us. To all of those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart,' said Biden.

'If you still disagree, so be it. That's democracy,' he told opponents. 'That's America. The right to dissent peaceably. Within the guardrails of our republic, it's perhaps this nation's greatest strength. Yet hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans – all Americans,' he said.

He spoke with urgency about the 'painful lesson' of recent weeks, referencing the riot in the Capitol that followed Trump's effort to overturn the results in states that voted for Biden as a historic time of testing for the nation – but also pronounced that 'democracy has prevailed.' 

'We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue,' he said, echoing some of the themes of Barack Obama, who brought him to the White House only to watch his own agenda come under assault during the Trump presidency. 

He warned of a 'dark winter' and listed the challenges he faces, including COVID, an economy in crisis, and the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd saying: 'A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country. It's taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost, hundreds of thousands of businesses closed, a cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.'

But he said: 'To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity.'

And he spoke of his own faith as the second-ever Catholic president, quoting St. Augustine, after a day which began with mass with Congressional leaders, and also spoke of his faith in America, saying: 'This is a great nation. We are good people.' 

The 78-year-old thanked his predecessors of both parties for being at his swearing-in. Former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush attended – making Trump's absence even more notable. 

Trump skipped the event, flying to Mar-a-Lago after organizing his own pep rally sendoff, telling supporters and family members 'Have a good life, we will see you soon.'

'I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart,' Biden said, adding he had spoken to former President Jimmy Carter on the phone the night before. Carter did not attend out of safety reasons because of the COVID pandemic. 

Biden also acknowledged the attack that took place on the Capitol two weeks ago, when a pro-Trump mob interrupted the certification of his victory.

'Now on this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the capital's very foundation. We come together under one nation, under god, indivisible, to transfer the peaceful power as we have for two centuries,' he said.

Biden gave his inaugural remarks after history-making Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in, with the oldest person to become president taking an oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution – starting his tenure amid a pandemic and putting an end to a tumultuous four-year term by President Trump. 

In his inaugural remarks, Biden declared: 'Unity is the path forward.

He asked for all Americans to come together and join him. He also asked those 75 million Trump voters to 'hear him out' during his time in office.

'My whole soul is in it today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this, bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. I ask every American to join me in this cause,' he said. 

Biden didn't mention President Trump by name but his speech was full of denunciation of Trump's tactics and methods.

'We can see each other not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature,' he said. 

Biden specifically called for an end to manipulating facts and raging at one another – two characteristics of Trump's time in office.

'Let's start afresh, all of us. Let's begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured,' he noted.

'There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. Each of us has the duty and responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies,' Biden said. 

He acknowledged the deep divides and wounds in the country.

'This is a great nation. We are good people. Over the centuries, through storm and strife, and peace and at war, we've come so far. We still have far to go. We'll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain,' he said.

Joe Biden raised his hand and took an oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution on Wednesday – starting his tenure amid a pandemic and putting an end to a tumultuous four-year term by President Donald Trump

Joe Biden raised his hand and took an oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution on Wednesday – starting his tenure amid a pandemic and putting an end to a tumultuous four-year term by President Donald Trump

Biden, in tactic acknowledgement of Trump's refusal to concede the election, announced 'democracy has prevailed' in the opening of his inaugural address

Biden, in tactic acknowledgement of Trump's refusal to concede the election, announced 'democracy has prevailed' in the opening of his inaugural address

'The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded,' Biden said on the West Front of the Capitol just two weeks after MAGA riots threatened to stop the counting of the electoral votes for president in its tracks

'The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded,' Biden said on the West Front of the Capitol just two weeks after MAGA riots threatened to stop the counting of the electoral votes for president in its tracks 

Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden kiss after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol

Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden kiss after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol 


Trump skipped the event, flying to Mar-a-Lago after organizing his own pep rally sendoff, telling supporters and family members 'Have a good life, we will see you soon

Trump skipped the event, flying to Mar-a-Lago after organizing his own pep rally sendoff, telling supporters and family members 'Have a good life, we will see you soon

President Donald Trump gestures to supporters en route to his Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort as Biden's inauguration was underway

President Donald Trump gestures to supporters en route to his Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort as Biden's inauguration was underway

On Wednesday, with history-making Vice President Kamala Harris on his team, the oldest person to become president is vowing to focus on the virus

On Wednesday, with history-making Vice President Kamala Harris on his team, the oldest person to become president is vowing to focus on the virus

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris during the inauguration of Joe Biden

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris during the inauguration of Joe Biden 


Biden also acknowledged the attack that took place on the Capitol two weeks ago, when a pro-Trump mob interrupted the certification of his victory

Biden also acknowledged the attack that took place on the Capitol two weeks ago, when a pro-Trump mob interrupted the certification of his victory

Biden also acknowledged the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans and devastated the American economy.

'We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter. We're entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation. One nation. I promise you this. As the bible says, we may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. We will get through this together. Together!,' he said.

In his first act as president, he asked Americans to join him in a moment of silence to remember those who died from the deadly disease.

'My first act as president, I'd like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those who we lost this past year to the pandemic, those 400,000 fellow Americans, moms, dads, husband, wives, daughters, sons, coworkers. We will honor them by becoming the people and the nation we know we can and should be. Let's say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives and for those left behind and for our country. Amen,' he said.

He acknowledged the challenges that face him as he takes office as the nation's 46th president, including the pandemic, racism, the climate and America's role in the world.

'Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on democracy and untruth, a raging virus, growing inequity, sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America's role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways, but the fact is, we face them all at once presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we've had. Now we're going to be tested. Are we going to step up, all of us? It's time for boldness, for there's so much to do,' he said. 


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