US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are being sworn into office Wednesday in the 59th inauguration ceremony of the world’s oldest democracy. The inauguration comes exactly two weeks after rioters opposing the results of the 2020 election stormed the US Capitol, raising security concerns across the nation.
The presidential inauguration ceremony is being held at the west front of the US Capitol facing the National Mall, with its majestic view of the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.
At 78, Biden becomes the oldest president in US history while Harris becomes the first female vice president, the first Black woman and the first Asian-American to hold the office.
More than 25,000 National Guard troops from across the country have been deployed to the US capital, supporting federal and district agencies, for the inauguration.
The FBI has assisted the Department of Defense in vetting National Guard troops deployed in Washington DC amid fears of an insider attack following the January 6 storming of the US Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
Breaking with tradition of outgoing presidents attending inauguration ceremonies, Trump has said he will not be present for the swearing-in. However, former US presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton will be in attendance with their wives, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to some restrictions during what is normally a jubilant event complete with inauguration balls. However, a number of leading performing artists, including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Tom Hanks will take the stage during the ceremony.
Source: France 24