Joe Biden signed his first edicts in his new office as US President in the Oval Office. Including a letter for them Return of the USA to the Paris climate protection agreement. He is reversing one of the most controversial decisions made by his predecessor Donald Trump. Biden had previously announced that he would put a special focus on the climate crisis during his tenure.
Another decree is the end of the entry ban for people from certain Muslim states. The legal basis for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico is to be withdrawn. In addition, Biden ordered a mask requirement in all government buildings and aircraft for the next 100 days. In total, Biden signed 15 edicts for which no US Congress approval is required.
Biden entered the White House for the first time as US President on late Wednesday evening German time. In pictures it was already seen before that the seat of the President was quickly redesignedafter Donald Trump left the White House for the last time on Wednesday afternoon German time.
In the pictures you can see the corridors of the White House, which are already Images of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris adorn. Biden last served as a senior US official in the White House in 2016, when he was Vice President Barack Obama.
Biden and his family walked the last few meters to the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue after his company car stopped behind the Inauguration Parade. A short time later, Kamala Harris and her family also followed.
Harris took on her role as chairwoman of the Senate on Wednesday and swore in the three Democratic senators. After the runoff in Georgia, the Democrats and Republicans each have 50 seats in the Senate. However, Harris has the decisive vote in a stalemate – and can thus help the Democrats to gain a majority.
At 5.48 p.m. German time it was Biden as the 46th US President been sworn in. Already with the oath replaced Biden’s predecessor Trump as US President. Harris put in just before him as the first female vice-president swore their oath of office in the history of the country.
Constitutional Judge John Roberts took the oath of office from President Biden. Biden was accompanied by his wife Jill. She also held the Bible on which the 78-year-old Democrat swore the oath. The Bible is an old one of his family that has been in the Bidens’ possession for 127 years.
In his inaugural address Biden conjured up the strength of American democracy. “At this hour, my friends, democracy prevailed,” said Biden.
Joe Biden’s inaugural speech in the video:
“This is the day of democracy, a day of history and hope for renewal and determination,” continued Biden. It is not about the victory of a candidate, but about the rule of the people. He also called for unity after the political trench warfare of the election campaign promised to continue fighting against racism.
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Without unity there can be no peace and no progressbut only bitterness and anger, said Biden. Biden promised that he would work for unity and reconciliation with all his heart.
“I will be a President for all Americans”he promised. “Not every disagreement has to be a reason for total war,” warned Biden. He prevailed against Republican Donald Trump in the presidential election on November 3rd. He concluded his speech with the words: “Thank you America.”
These are the other dates for Biden in the White House:
- Around 5.45 p.m. (11.45 p.m. CET) Biden will virtually swear in the people he has appointed.
- Just before 9 p.m. (3 a.m. CET on Thursday) begins a virtual celebration under the motto “Celebrating America”, to that Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Justin Timberlake and other artists can be added. The show is moderated by a Hollywood star Tom Hanks.
- For around 10 p.m. (4 a.m. CET on Thursday) is an appearance by the new presidential couple on the Blue room balcony planned for the White House.
Shortly before the swearing in, Lady Gaga had sung the US national anthem:
After their official inauguration, US President Biden and Vice-President Harris traditionally inspected the readiness of soldiers. Several units marched past them outside the east side of the Capitol on Wednesday. Biden saluted the military. As President, Biden is also Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
As a first official act, Biden then put one Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier settled in Arlington National Cemetery. Biden and Harris were silent for a moment at the wreath that had been placed before their arrival, and the President made the sign of the cross. When Biden arrived at the huge military cemetery – known for long rows of identical white tombstones – gun salutes were fired.
When Biden and Harris arrived at the Capitol more than an hour before the swearing-in, Harris was accompanied by Eugene Goodman – the policeman who drew attention to his brave efforts against the mob that stormed the Capitol two weeks ago.
Previously, Biden had at 8.45 a.m. local time, as the second Catholic in the White House after John F. Kennedy, with the Congressional leaders of the Democrats and Republicans celebrated holy mass. The outgoing Senate Leader Mitch McConnell was there, along with the Republican Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the future Senate Leader, Chuck Schumer.
The service took place in the St. Matthew Cathedral. Other presidents had used St. John’s Episcopal Church for similar ceremonies. Apparently, Biden wanted to choose a church of his denomination.
The handover will go down in history solely because of its unprecedented circumstances: Because of the Corona pandemic there is for Biden on the one hand no mass audience. The Storming the Capitol by violent Trump supporters two weeks ago, the authorities also has to be significant Tightening of security measures caused. Large parts of the US capital are cordoned off. The police are from around 25,000 National Guard soldiers supported.
It is also noteworthy that the outgoing president did not attend the ceremony to introduce his successor – Trump announced this weeks ago. He is the first President since Andrew Johnson in 1869 who does not attend the inauguration ceremony of his successor at the Capitol.
Trump’s deputy Mike Pence on the other hand, he was present at Biden’s inauguration – but he did not attend Trump’s farewell ceremony at Andrews military airport near Washington. In the end, there was a break between the president and his vice-president. Pence even received soft applause when he was introduced before the swearing-in.
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Trump, who praised himself above all in a speech on Tuesday evening CET and did not mention the name Biden, did so again in his farewell speech on Wednesday afternoon.
“What we did was fantastic on every level,” said Trump. “We weren’t an average government.” The tax cuts and employment figures were historic. “The future of the country has never looked better. We have put it in a position where it was never before, “said Trump, who also addressed words to his successor Joe Biden – but again without giving his name: “I wish the new government every success, I am sure that they will have a lot of success.”
The last speech of Trump as US President in the video:
Previously, Trump was last lifted off the White House lawn aboard the Marine One helicopter and then on from Andrews Air Base flew to Florida to his resort Mar-a-Lago – for the last time with “Air Force One”.
Guests at the inauguration of Trump’s successor Biden included the former US presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton as well as their wives Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton. They accompanied the 46th US President to the National Cemetery in Arlington.
Obama congratulated his former Vice Biden even before he was sworn in for president. “This is your time,” wrote Obama on Twitter:
Biden has announced that he will go to work on the day of inauguration. The US has no time to lose when it comes to tackling the crises the nation is facing, he wrote on Tuesday evening (local time) on Twitter. “That’s why I will get to work tomorrow after my swearing-in.”
Biden spent the night in Washington, not far from the White House. When he left his home state of Delaware, he was visibly moved. (with agencies)