Joe Biden Sworn in as the 46th President, Telling America: 'Democracy Has Prevailed'

President Joe Biden was sworn in shortly before noon on Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States, with his family watching on at the U.S. Capitol.

In his inaugural address afterward, Biden spoke to the country of democracy's resilience and it's challenges, two weeks after the violent riots in the Capitol led by a mob who tried to thwart the certification of his election victory over former President Donald Trump.

"Let's start afresh — all of us," Biden said, urging unity as he has since first launching his presidential campaign in 2019. He went on: "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."

"America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge," Biden said. "Today we celebrate the trump not of a candidate but of a case: a case of democracy. The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded."

"Democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed," he said.

"We come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have or more than two centuries," he said. "As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic and set our sights on a nation we know we can be and must be.

Biden, 78, took the oath of office from the Supreme Court's chief justice, John Roberts, as is customary. He used a family bible.

He enters the White House following a historic election that saw him garner more votes than any past candidate. Wednesday's ceremonies were unprecedented both because of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and heightened security around the Capitol in the wake of the Jan. 6 rioting.

Trump did not attend the inauguration, as he confirmed in a tweet prior to the event. (Since the Capitol riots, Trump has been permanently suspended from Twitter.) Departing Vice President Mike Pence did, however.

In the wake of the deadly riots that saw a mob of Trump supporters break into the Capitol building and cause chaos inside, Biden told reporters last week that he was "not afraid" to take the oath of office outside, despite some officials expressing security concerns surrounding the event.

"I think it's critically important that there be a real serious focus on holding those folks who engaged in sedition and threatened people's lives, defaced public property, caused great damage, that they be held accountable," he said after receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine publicly.

The hallmark event of American democracy — in which the outgoing president typically looks on as the new president takes over — was planned under never-before-seen circumstances, including a global pandemic, tumultuous transfer of power and security concerns stemming from Trump's false claims that the election was stolen from him.

Speaking exclusively with PEOPLE in August alongside now-Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden shared how they would work together, calling back to his relationship with former President Barack Obama when he was his VP.

"The easy part of this is like my relationship with Barack — we trusted each other," he said. "Think about what happened when those folks came out in Charlottesville, carrying those torches. Close your eyes and remember what you saw, chanting the same anti-Semitic bile that was chanted in the streets of Germany in the '30s, accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan. And a young woman gets killed protesting against them and the president of the United States says, 'There are very fine people on both sides.' That phrase was heard 'round the world. This is going to change."

"That's right," said Harris, as Biden gestured to her sitting beside him and added, "This is who we are. This is America."

Source: Read Full Article