New US President Joe Biden calls for unity
United States President Joe Biden has been sworn in, replacing Donald Trump.
In a wide-ranging inaugural address, Mr Biden returned to the theme of unity he previously focused on in his victory speech last November.
“With unity, we can do great things, important things,” Mr Biden said.
“We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.”
He also suggested that, “democracy has prevailed.”
“We’ve learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile, and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,” President Biden said.
“So now, on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power, as we have for more than two centuries.”
New Vice President Kamala Harris was also sworn in, the first woman to hold this office.
The new administration’s early agenda includes overturning Trump’s travel ban, efforts to get the Caronavirus under control, and re-joining the Paris Climate Accord.
With the Senate set to be evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, some parts of this agenda are likely to be the contentious.
In a parting address on Wednesday night, Australian time, former President Donald Trump indicated that he believes the movement that brought him to office has only begun.
Mr Trump, who has repeatedly argued without proof that the election was stolen, did not attend the ceremony.
Mr Biden is the second Roman Catholic to hold the office of President. On the morning of his inauguration, he attended a church service with outgoing Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
In a recent speech in the Senate chamber, Mr McConnell levelled blame on Mr Trump for the recent riot at the Capitol, suggesting that the former president had incited the event.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
Whether or not Mr McConnell will vote to levy impeachment charges on the former President remains to be seen however. If this happens, Mr Trump will lose the right to run again for office.
Image source: AP