Former Vice President Joe Biden has just become the 46th President of the United States of America. It became official at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time. Interestingly, he took the oath of office twelve minutes before that and began his inaugural address.
Mr. Biden, at 74, is the oldest person to first be elected President of the United States. Donald Trump set a new record himself four years ago when he became the President at the age of 70. If President Biden finishes this term he will become the oldest serving President in history at 78, breaking the record of 73 held by Ronald Reagan.
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Fittingly, the President was sworn in at the same spot where two weeks ago a group of people egged on by Donald trump stormed the Capitol, the heart of American democracy, in an effort to prevent this moment from even happening.
President Biden was sworn into office with his hand on the Biden family Bible. This bible has a Celtic Cross on its cover and has been a family heirloom since 1893. The President-elect used this same Bible every time he has taken an oath of office, both as a senator from Delaware and as vice president.
President Joe Biden began his presidency asking the assembled crowd to take a moment of silence in memory of the more than 400,000 Americans who had died from the Coronavirus.
Declaring his intent to get to business the new President said, “With purpose and resolve we turn to the tasks of our time, sustained by faith, driven by conviction, devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts.”
On recent turmoil President Biden remarked, “America has been tested and we’ve come out stronger for it, we will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.”
“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban conservative vs liberal,” he added while calling for calm and a return to civility. “Stop the shouting, lower the temperature, for without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.”
About America, “This is a great nation, we are good people and over the centuries through storm and strife, peace and war we’ve come so far, but we’ve still got far to go,” said President Biden. “Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, but to build, much to gain.”
“This is America’s day, this is democracy’s day, a day of history and hope of renewal and resolve through a Crucible for the ages.”
These words stand in stark contrast to the combative tone of Mr. Trump’s speech four years ago.
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.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 20, 2021
At the same time the official Twitter account of the President of the United States was reactivated.
We don’t know yet what Donald Trump is thinking right now because he was banned by Twitter.
One hitch in the handover of power, unfortunately, revolves around the transfer of America’s official nuclear weapons codes to the new President. Known as the “nuclear football,” these codes are held by a military aide who is at all times by the side of the President. Former President Trump took the football with him when he flew to Florida hours before the inauguration. President Biden had already been given a new set of codes called the “biscuit.”
At exactly 12 noon in Washington President Trump’s codes were deactivated and President Biden’s were activated. Donald Trump was not there so his military aide had to wait until 12 noon to return to Washington with Trump’s football.
While the outgoing president may have been absent that did not stop a very important symbol of the transfer of power from taking place. Or at least one that is important in the Internet era. At 12 noon the official White House website’s home page switched from a picture of Donald Trump and a list touting his accomplishments while in office to one of President Biden. It also now has information about President Biden’s new government.
Fortunately, there were no acts of valence and no one in any way stopped the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden.