Washington. Joe Biden, sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, declared “democracy has prevailed” as he used his inaugural address to call for unity in a nation suffering from “deep” political divisions and a pandemic that has crippled the country.
From the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, Biden took the oath of office in a ceremony dramatically downsized because of the coronavirus pandemic as he vowed to take on the challenges of the day.
“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day,” Biden said in his address. “America has been tested a new and America has risen to the challenge.”
Biden was sworn in with his hand on his family Bible – the same one he has used to take the oath office in the past.
The oath was administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Standing beside Biden was first lady Jill Biden, his son, Hunter Biden, and daughter Ashley Biden.
In his speech, Biden said his inauguration was a day to “celebrate triumph, not of a candidate, but a cause – democracy.”
“Democracy is precious, democracy is fragile,” he said. “And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”
In his first address as president, Biden said “the American story depends not on any one of us, but on all of us – we the people,” and said the country “will press forward with speed and urgency.”
Biden pointed to the novel coronavirus, which he said “silently stalks the country,” and has claimed more than 400,000 American lives since its inception, shifted to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, and addressed the “cry for racial justice.”