Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, as he promised to bring the country back from a precipice of public health, economic and political emergencies after four tumultuous years under Donald Trump.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol for the 46th President, Biden, who held his left hand on a worn Celtic Bible that has been in his family for over a century.
“Congratulations, Mr. President,” Roberts said.
Tears in his eyes, Biden hugged his wife, son and daughter, as a crowd on the Capitol terrace gave him the first standing ovation of his presidency.
Before Biden took the oath, Kamala Harris made history as the first woman to be sworn in as vice president, with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administering her oath.
Harris flashed a broad smile after the oath, hugged her husband and gave two thumbs up to Biden.
Amid the celebrations, the inaugural ceremony for the 46th President at the U.S. Capitol was unlike any other in modern American history.
Parts of the historic building was still covered in scaffolding after being sieged on Jan. 6 by a far-right mob that killed a police officer and ransacked the halls of Congress in a violent attempt to overturn Biden’s election at Trump’s urging.
Meantime, the National Mall, usually filled with supporters of the new president, gaped empty because of concern over the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic and threats of more far-right violence.
On the West Front of the Capitol, attendants of Biden’s inauguration wore face masks and socially distanced, another grim reminder of the pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.