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Joe Biden Inauguration Updates: President, vice-president lay wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Joe Biden Inauguration Updates: Biden and Harris were joined by three former presidents and three former first ladies at the Arlington National Cemetery

FP Staff January 21, 2021 01:54:18 IST
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Joe Biden Inauguration Updates: President, vice-president lay wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. AP

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Jan 21, 2021 - 01:44 (IST)

New acting secretary of state is career diplomat

President Joe Biden has chosen career diplomat Daniel Smith to serve as acting secretary of state until his pick for top diplomat, Antony Blinken, is confirmed by the Senate, reports news agency The Associated Press . Smith currently runs the Foreign Service Institute that trains US diplomats and is a former ambassador to Greece. Current and incoming US officials told the news agency on Wednesday of his temporary appointment, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the official announcement.  Blinken had a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, and his confirmation is not expected to face obstacles. He would succeed President Donald Trump's secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

Jan 21, 2021 - 01:16 (IST)

Biden, Harris lay wreath at ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris  reached the Arlington National Cemetery, where they are joined by three former presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. They participated a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton are also at the event.

According to the Guardian, Biden, his campaign speeches, frequently mentioned that his late son, Beau, who died in 2015, was a veteran.

Jan 21, 2021 - 01:12 (IST)

Joe Biden's team starts moving into White House

President Joe Biden’s team has started moving into the White House, reports news agency AP. The building began humming again with activity a few hours after Biden’s inauguration Wednesday as staff for the new president started moving into their offices, unpacking belongings and getting the badges that grant them easy access to the property. New press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that she was “in the building and ready to get to work.” Psaki has scheduled the new administration’s first White House press briefing for later Wednesday. Biden plans to sign a flurry of executive orders, some overturning actions by former President Donald Trump, once he gets to the Oval Office.

The White House had been largely emptied out of staff after Trump flew to Florida on Wednesday morning, skipping his successor’s swearing-in.

Jan 21, 2021 - 01:02 (IST)

Wall Street hits records amid profit reports, inauguration

US stocks are rallying to records on Wednesday, on encouraging earnings reports and continued optimism that new leadership in Washington will mean more support for the struggling economy. The S&P 500 was 1.4 percent higher at 3,850 in afternoon trading, topping its record closing level of 3,824.68 set earlier this month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 237 points, or 0.8percent, at 31,168 as of 2 pm Eastern time (Thursday 12.30 am IST), and the Nasdaq composite was 1.9 percent higher.

Joe Biden took the oath of office to become US president and he has a flurry of executive actions planned. He has also pitched a plan to pump $1.9 trillion more into the struggling economy, hoping to act quickly as his Democratic party takes control of the White House and both houses of Congress. The hope on Wall Street is that such stimulus will help carry the economy until later this year, when more widespread COVID-19 vaccinations get daily life closer to normal.

AP

Jan 21, 2021 - 00:33 (IST)

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris participate in pass in review parade

President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff are reviewing military preparedness by participating in a pass in review on the East front of the Capitol with members of the military. Every branch of the military is represented in the event.

"Pass in Reviews are a long-standing military tradition that reflect the peaceful transfer of power to a new Commander-in-Chief, during which the President-elect, hosted by the Commander of Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, will review the readiness of military troops.," CNN quotes  the inaugural committee as saying. the committee has said that participants will practice social distancing and there will be "vigorous health and safety protocols in place".

The presiden and first lady are now departing for  traveling to Arlington National Cemetery to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where they will be joined  by former Presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton and former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.

Jan 21, 2021 - 00:27 (IST)

Welcome back to Paris Agreement, tweets Emmanuel Macron

" To Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Best wishes on this most significant day for the American people! We are together. We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!, tweeted French president Emmanuel Macron. 

In one of his first official acts, President Joe Biden planned on  Wednesday to return the United States to the worldwide fight to slow global warming and to launch a series of climate-friendly efforts that could transform how Americans drive and get their power. “A cry for survival comes from the planet itself,” Biden said in his inaugural address. “A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now.”

Biden was to sign an executive order rejoining the Paris climate accord within hours of taking the oath of office, fulfilling a campaign pledge and undoing the withdrawal ordered by predecessor Donald Trump.

Jan 21, 2021 - 00:16 (IST)

President Joe Biden participates in signing ceremony

President Joe Biden participated in a signing ceremony in the President's Room of the US Capitol, said reports. As per CNN, Biden was signing the following documents:  the Inauguration Day Proclamation, Nominations to Cabinet Positions  and Nominations to sub-Cabinet Positions. After the ceremony, Congressional leaders also presented gifts to Biden. The gifts inculded a pair of flags flown over the Capitol during the inauguration.

The presentations to the officials and their respective spouses happened Wednesday in lieu of a congressional luncheon that typically follows the inauguration ceremony, according to news agency The Associated Press.

Jan 21, 2021 - 00:04 (IST)

'Work begins', tweets White House under 46th President Biden

Shortly after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the US, the White House tweeted a video, titled, 'Today, the work begins'.  'It may seem like we've never been more separate from each other, but we can change that because we are united by the love for this country and the desire to make it better,' the video said.   

Jan 20, 2021 - 23:59 (IST)

Inauguration goes off with no security issues

Troops in riot gear lined the streets of the nation's capitol, but there were no crowds. Armoured vehicles and concrete barriers blocked the empty streets around the US Capitol. From behind miles of fencing, Joe Biden was safely sworn in as president in a Washington on edge, two weeks after pro-Trump rioters besieged the US Capitol, reports AP.

Law enforcement officials contended not only with the potential for outside threats but also with rising concerns about an insider attack. Officials were monitoring members of far-right extremist and militia groups, increasingly concerned about the possibility such groups could stream into Washington and spark violent confrontations, a law enforcement official said.

There were a few scattered arrests, but no serious disruptions in the city during Biden's inauguration ceremony.

Jan 20, 2021 - 23:52 (IST)

Biden departs from to sign paperwork in President's Room

The official swearing-in ceremony for President Joe Biden have concluded, but more events are planned throughout the day. Following his departure from the platform, Biden was expected to sign paperwork in the President’s Room within the US Capitol. Afterwards, he reviews troops outside the Capitol before departing and traveling to Arlington National Cemetery for a ceremony with former presidents in attendance, reports AP.

Joe Biden Inauguration Latest Updates: US president Joe Biden and Kamala Harris participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Former presidents and first ladies — Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, George W Bush, Laura Bush, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton were also present at the event.

US President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff insepcted troops at a pass in review parade on the East front of the Capitol with members of the military. Every branch of the military is represented in the event.

The official Twitter accounts for the President of the United States and Vice President of the United States were handed over to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris soon after they were officially sworn-in. Biden tweeted from the POTUS account, saying "There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face. That's why today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work delivering bold action and immediate relief for American families."

Striking a conciliatory note in his inaugural speech, Joe Biden spoke about the "forces that divide America" in sections on "Red versus Blue" and "Urban versus Rural" or along races and nativities. He said that he will strive to fight for the rights of all Americans - "Those who supported me, and those who did not." Biden also claimed that his soul lies in uniting the American people.

Joseph R Biden has been sworn in as 46th US President. In his inaugural speech, the President acknowledged that as he walks into the White House, there will be much to repair, 'much to restore; much to build and much to restore'.

Kamala Harris was sworn in as the Vice President of US by first Latina Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Dr Bill Jiden have arrived at the platform at the Capitol and are headed towards their seats. Biden will be sworn in as president by Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts in about 40 minutes.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, have also arrived on the Capitol platform for the inauguration ceremony. The vice-president-elect was escorted by Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer who was hailed as a hero after he led rioters away from the Senate chamber during the violent attack on the Capitol two weeks ago.

Vice-president Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence have arrived on the Capitol platform for Joe Biden's inauguration.Pence skipped Donald Trump’s farewell event at Joint Base Andrews this morning.

Meanwhile, Trump reached Florida after leaving the White House for the final time as president.

A bomb threat was called in at the US Supreme Court, reports CNN quoting a Supreme Court public information officer. The Supreme Court building sits across the street from the US Capitol, where President-elect Joe Biden will take the oath of office.

Meanwhile, Biden and Harris arrived at the Capitol building.

Former president Barack Obama congratulated his "friend" Joe Biden on Twitter, saying "this is your time". Biden served as Vice President in Obama's administration. Obama is slated attend the swearing in ceremony set to begin shortly at the Capitol

Surgeon general Dr Jerome Adams has confirmed that the incoming administration has asked for his resignation. Adams was sworn in as surgeon general in September 2017 for a four-year-term. He had emerged as a key spokesman for Trump’s coronavirus response, regularly appearing on national TV to brief the public about pandemic response

George W Bush and Laura Bush have arrived at the Capitol to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration, said reports. Former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and former first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton are also slated to attend the event.

Hours before his swearing in ceremony, President-elect Joe Biden tweeted " It's a new day in America." The President-elect and his wife Jill Biden attended service at Washington’s Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, following tradition.

Meanwhile, the outgoing president has already left Washington DC in Air Force One for his Florida resort.

In his closing remarks as President, Donald Trump said, “You are amazing people. This is a great, great country. It is my greatest honor and privilege to have been your President,” as per reports. “I will always fight for you. I will be watching." he said and wished the new administration 'great luck and great success'.

Trump was speaking at Joint Base Andrews after departing from the White House, hours before Joe Biden's swearing in.

Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris will take oath as the first woman Vice President on Wednesday, amidst heightened security concerns after a mob of pro-Trump extremists violently breached the Capitol two weeks ago.

Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to 78-year-old Biden just after the clock strikes 12 local time (10.30 pm IST) at the West Front of the Capitol — the traditional location for presidential inaugural ceremonies.

The historic inauguration will be held under the unprecedented security umbrella of more than 25,000 National Guards, who have transformed the capital into a garrison city, mainly because of the threat of more violent protests by the supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, who is skipping the event.

Biden will take the oath on his 127-year-old family Bible, which will be held by his wife, Jill Biden.

Biden, who will be the oldest president in American history, will deliver his first presidential address to the country shortly after taking the oath. The historic speech, with the theme of unity and healing, has been prepared by his Indian-American speech writer Vinay Reddy.

Harris, 56, will be sworn in as 49th Vice President of the United States by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina member of the Supreme Court. She will make history as the first female, first Black, and first Indian American vice president of the United States.

Harris will be sworn in on two Bibles — one that belonged to a close family friend named Regina Shelton and another that belonged to Thurgood Marshall —the country's first African American Supreme Court justice.

The ceremony is likely to be attended by former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton. Former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton are also set to attend the event.

Trump, a Republican, has said he will not attend the inauguration. He, however, extended "best wishes" to new administration in a farewell video address on Tuesday.

"We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck - a very important word," Trump, 74, said on the eve of his departure from the White House for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

This year the transition stands out for its acrimony. The process usually starts straight after the election, but it started weeks late after Trump refused to accept the result of the 3 November election won by Biden, a Democrat.

The scaled-down inauguration is expected to begin around 11 am (local time) with an invocation by Leo Jeremiah O'Donovan, a Jesuit priest who is a close friend of the Biden family. Andrea Hall, the first African American female firefighter to become captain of the Fire Rescue Department in South Fulton, Georgia, will recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem and Amanda Gorman, who became the country's first Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, will read a poem she has written for the occasion called "The Hill We Climb." She would be followed by a performance by actress-singer Jennifer Lopez.
Silvester Beaman, pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware, will deliver a benediction.

After the swearing-in ceremony, Biden and Harris will attend a traditional Pass in Review with members of the military on the East Front of the Capitol, signifying the peaceful transfer of power to a new commander-in-chief.

Biden, Harris and their spouses will visit Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where they will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

After the wreath ceremony, they will head to the White House, where they will get a presidential escort. That will kick off the virtual "Parade Across America," featuring performances from all 56 states and territories.

Traditionally, when the new president arrives at the Oval Office and occupies the chair in front of the resolute desk, a letter from his predecessor awaits him. Given the circumstances that Trump is leaving, speculation is rife that there might not be any letter at all. Trump not only refused to concede the elections for more than two months, but also did not invite his successor to the White House as is the custom.

At night, Biden is forgoing the traditional inaugural balls because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he will instead take part in a television event called "Celebrating America."

Biden enters the White House with the top challenge to lift the country from the devastation of a raging pandemic that has killed more than 4,00,000 Americans and thrown millions into economic distress. Revival of the economy, which has been badly bruised by the pandemic, is another challenge that he faces.

Meanwhile, the American capital has been virtually turned into a garrison city, amidst multiple reports of threats and more armed violence by pro-Trump supporters to disrupt the events.

The area in and around Capitol Hill, a large part of Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House has been made out of bounds for the general public with eight-feet high iron barricades being erected.

In addition to converting downtown Washington DC into a fortress, security in and around 50 State Capitols has also been put on high alert to ensure a peaceful transition of power.

US defence officials say they are also worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing Biden's inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops deployed for the event.

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