Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday.
With his hand on a Bible, Mr. Biden recited the 35-word oath of office, swearing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” of the country in a ceremony administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
Biden’s swearing-in came shortly after Kamala Devi Harris was sworn in as vice president by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Ms. Harris’s ascension made her the highest-ranking woman in the history of the United States and the first Black American and first person of South Asian descent to hold the nation’s second highest office.
Kamala and her husband, Doug Emhoff — America’s first-ever “second gentleman” — were escorted to the inauguration by Eugene Goodman, a Black police officer at the Capitol who lured the mostly white mob away from the Senate chambers in a video that went viral.
In a speech that immediately laid out the contrast between himself and his predecessor, Biden said:
“Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now.”
He went on: “To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words and requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity.”
The inauguration comes exactly two weeks after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to disrupt the certification by Congress of Biden’s November election victory.