After campaigning on a promise to heal a fractured nation, President-elect Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol — a mere two weeks after insurrectionists incited by President Donald Trump stormed the building and tried to overturn the election results based on Trump’s lies.
President-elect Joe Biden arrived at the Capitol Wednesday morning, after Trump — the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend his successor’s swearing-in ceremony — had left Washington, DC. Vice President Mike Pence, who was in the Capitol when it was stormed by a violent mob earlier this month, and second lady Karen Pence walked out onto the inaugural stands to bipartisan applause.
More than 25,000 National Guard troops are in place to ensure that the nation’s transfer of power can take place peacefully.
Trump left the White House as president for the last time Wednesday morning, flying to Florida with first lady Melania Trump before the swearing-in ceremonies, dispensing with the tradition of greeting the incoming President and first lady at the White House and riding with them to the Capitol.
On his way out of the Washington area, Trump — who was not wearing a mask — again used the racist term “China virus” to describe the coronavirus, describing it in the past tense, and touted his administration’s work on developing a vaccine.
He thanked his staff and family and wished the next administration “great success” but did not mention his successor by name.