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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.   

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.

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.

23:44 (IST)

Calm prevails at state capitols

Calm prevailed outside heavily fortified state capitol buildings across the US as Joe Biden was sworn in as president, with scattered protests in a few places. The FBI had warned of the possibility for armed demonstrations leading up to the inauguration after Donald Trump repeatedly and falsely claimed the election was stolen from him.

Fewer than a half-dozen demonstrators showed up outside the capitols in Concord, New Hampshire, and Lansing, Michigan. A lone protester wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat stood outside a chain-link fence surrounding the California Capitol in Sacramento, as dozens of police officers and National Guard troops guarded every entrance. Three protesters were outside the Nebraska Capitol in Lincoln, one waving a flag that read “Biden is not the president.”

AP

23:37 (IST)

Justin Trudeau congratulates Joe Biden

Congratultaing Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: "Our two countries have tackled some of history’s greatest challenges together - and I’m looking forward to continuing this partnership with you, Kamala Harris, and your administration."

23:32 (IST)

Look forward to working with President Biden, tweets Boris Johnson

23:30 (IST)

Narendra Modi congratulates Harris, Biden

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, saying he looked forward to working with them to strengthen India-US partnership. 

23:21 (IST)

 

No time to waste, tweets Biden

The official Twitter accounts for the President of the United States and Vice President of the United States have been 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."

23:12 (IST)

Inaugural Parade to take place shortly

The inaugurataion ceremony will be followed by a parade. The President and Vice-president 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. 

23:05 (IST)

Inaugural ceremony concludes

The inaugural ceremony concluded with a benediction by Reverend Silvester Beaman, who echoed the theme of the presidents' address, saying “We will make friends of our enemies.”

23:03 (IST)

Rahul Gandhi congratulates Biden, Harris

22:59 (IST)

Amanda Gorman addresses crowd

After newly sworn in President Joe Biden concluded his address, Garth Brooks sang “Amazing Grace.”  Amanda Gorman, who became the country's first Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, recited a poem titled The Hills we climb. "Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It's the past we step into and how we repair it," she said.The 23-year-old has written for everything from a 4 July celebration featuring the Boston Pops Orchestra to the inauguration at Harvard University, her alma mater, of school president Larry Bacow.

22:56 (IST)

America will repair alliances, says Biden

In his about 21 minute long address, Joe Biden said America would provide a positive example to the world under his leadership as president. "America has been tested and we've come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage once again. Not to meet yesterday's challenges but today's and tomorrow's challenges," Biden said.

“We’ll lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example,” The Guardian quotes him as saying.

22:53 (IST)

Much to restore, much to heal, says President Biden

President Joe Biden, in his inaugural speech, spoke about the current plight of America noting that the country has "much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain." As per CNN, Biden noted that "few people in our nation's history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we're in now." Speaking about the Covid-19 pandemic, Biden said "once-in-a-century virus, that silently stalks the country. It's taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. and also referred to the jobs lost. However, he also offered signals of hope, saying "To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity."

22:46 (IST)

Leaders have an obligation to defend truth, says Joe Biden

During his inaugural address, Biden also pledged  that he would be honest with the country as it continues to confront difficulties, saying that leaders have an obligation “to defend the truth and defeat the lies.” He asked even those who did not vote for him to give him a chance. He said, “Hear me out as we move forward.”

AP

22:40 (IST)

Don't tell me things can't change, says Biden

Biden described America’s history as a “constant struggle” between the country’s professed ideals and its lived reality. "I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart," CNN quotes the newly sworn in president as saying.

The president referred to Kamala Harris being sworn in as vice-president as an indication of how much positive change the nation can achieve. “Don’t tell me things can’t change,” Biden said.

22:37 (IST)

Biden gives call for unity, says will be president for all Americans

President Joe Biden said the nation “must confront” white supremacy, according to The Guardian.“The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer,” the president said. Biden also gave a call for unity, saying "This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward,” the president said.

“I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. I also know they are not new,” Biden said.

"I will be a president for all Americans", including for those who did not support, he further said.

22:32 (IST)

Will of the people has been heard, says POTUS

"Today we celebrate the triumph, not of a candidate, but of a cause — the cause of democracy. The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed."

22:27 (IST)

Democracy has prevailed, says Biden

Senator Amy Klobuchar introduces 64th American of the US Joeseph R Biden Jr. Biden greets Roberts, Harris and other guests. " This is America's day, this is democracy day... a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve," he said.

The president referenced the violent attack on the Capitol two weeks ago, saying it underscored the value of American democracy. “We’ve learned again that democracy is precious,” the president said. “And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”

22:27 (IST)

Democracy has prevailed, says Biden

Senator Amy Klobuchar introduces 64th American of the US Joeseph R Biden Jr. Biden greets Roberts, Harris and other guests. " This is America's day, this is democracy day... A day of hope and resolve," he said.

The president referenced the violent attack on the Capitol two weeks ago, saying it underscored the value of American democracy. “We’ve learned again that democracy is precious,” the president said. “And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”

22:22 (IST)

Joe Biden sworn in as US President

Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Biden was administered oath by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, and his wife, Dr Jill Biden, held the Bible as he took the oath.

22:18 (IST)

Jennifer Lopez sings 'This Land was made for you and me'

Jennifer Lopez performs at inauguration ceremony. Lopez sang "This Land was made for you and me."

22:16 (IST)

Kamala Harris sworn in as US Vice President

Kamala Harris was sworn in as the Vice President of US,  Harris was sworn in by first Latina Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Harris becomes the first woman, the first African American and the first Asian American to serve in the role.

22:12 (IST)

Lady Gaga sings National Anthem

Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem at Joe Biden’s inauguration. Lady Gaga arrived in Washington and greeted some of the National Guard members who have been providing security for the inauguration.

22:05 (IST)

Govt both fragile and resilient, says Roy Blunt

Speaking after Klobuchar, Roy Blunt,  the top Republican on the Senate rules committee, also spoke about the violent attack at the Capitol earlier this month. The Republican senator said the attack “reminds us that a government designed to balance and check itself is both fragile and resilient”.

21:59 (IST)

Inauguration ceremony gets underway

The inauguration ceremony is now officially underway, with Amy Klobuchar, the incoming Democratic chairwoman of the Senate rules committee, kicked off the welcoming everyone to historic event.

"This is the day when our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust and does what America always does, goes forward as a nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," she said. She said now, as the country turns the page, it is up to everyone to "take up the torch of our democracy" to be an instrument of good, as per CNN.

"We pledge today never to take our democracy for granted as we celebrate its remarkable strength. We celebrate its resilience, its grit," Klobuchar said.

21:51 (IST)

Bidens arrive at Capitol platform

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.

21:47 (IST)

Kamala Harris, husband Doug Emhoff arrive at Capitol Platform

Vice President elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, have 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.

21:40 (IST)

Vice President Mike Pence introduced at Capitol

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.

21:35 (IST)

Trump arrives in Florida

President Donald Trump reached Florida after leaving the White House for the final time as president, reports AP. Trump said farewell to Washington early Wednesday, leaving before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Trump’s family was on the plane with him. He spent some of the flight meeting with flight staff, who went up to say goodbye.

21:29 (IST)

Barack, Michelle Obama greeted with applause

Former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama were greeted with applause as they entered the venue. The Supreme Court justices were also just introduced at the inauguration ceremony at the US Capitol.

21:26 (IST)

Biden tweets message for wife Jill as they arrive at Capitol

Just after arriving at the US Capitol for the inauguration, Joe Biden's account sent a tweet with a message to his wife, soon-to-be first lady Jill Biden. The tweet said: "I love you, Jilly, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have you with me on the journey ahead and also had a short video of the Bidens holding hands as they arrived for the ceremony.

21:18 (IST)

Former presidents arrive for Biden's inaugurations

All of the former US presidents attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration have arrived at the Capitol. George W Bush and his wife, Laura, were first to arrive at the complex on Wednesday morning, several hours before Biden’s swearing-in ceremony. Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton followed shortly thereafter, with each couple arriving in separate motorcades.

The other living former president, 96-year-old Jimmy Carter, previously announced he would not attend Biden’s inauguration. 

AP

21:09 (IST)

Bomb threat at US Supreme Court: Report

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. The court and its surrounding grounds were checked for possible threats, reported The Guardian quoting a public information official.

21:01 (IST)

Biden, Harris arrive at Capitol

President-elect Joe Biden's motorcade has arrived at the US Capitol ahead of his inauguration. Congressional leaders are expected to greet him upon his entrance to the Capitol building. Vice-President elect Kamala Harris has also reached the venue. Senator Mitch McConell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are also present.

20:58 (IST)

How Inauguration Day 2021 will be different:

As per reports, Inauguration Day 2021 will be unlike any other due to security concerns and COVID-19 restrictions. Instead of the usual 200,000 tickets distributed to members of Congress and passed out to their constituents, organisers will allow just over 1,000 tickets — one for each of the 535 members of Congress and one guest each,

In place of the people, the inauguration committee has placed 200,000 flags representing all 56 American states and territories.  The flags have been lit brilliantly to give an impression that the mall is packed.

20:53 (IST)

How Inauguration Day 2021 will be different:

As per reports, Inauguration Day 2021 will be unlike any other due to security concerns and COVID-19 restrictions. Instead of the usual 200,000 tickets distributed to members of Congress and passed out to their constituents, organizers will allow just over 1,000 tickets — one for each of the 535 members of Congress and one guest each,

In place of the people, the inauguration committee has placed 200,000 flags representing all 56 American states and territories.  The flags have been lit brilliantly to give an impression that the mall is packed.

20:41 (IST)

Acting Attorney General to resign when Biden enters White House

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will resign when President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office, reported AP. The Justice Department says Rosen’s resignation goes into effect at noon Wednesday. Rosen has run the department since former Attorney General William Barr resigned on 23 December. He was previously the deputy attorney general and deputy transportation secretary.

Monty Wilkinson, a career Department of Justice lawyer and former Eric Holder deputy chief of staff, is expected to be acting attorney general until Biden's pick, Merrick Garland, is confirmed, reports CNN quoting sources in the know.

20:32 (IST)

'This is your time': Obama congratulates Biden

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

20:21 (IST)

George, Laura Bush arrive at Capitol

George W Bush and Laura Bush have arrived at the Capitol to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration,said reports. The former president and former first lady waved at reporters while entering the building.

20:17 (IST)

Have been asked to step down, confirms Surgeon General

 Surgeon general Dr Jerome Adams has confirmed that the incoming administration has asked for his resignation, saying " Its been the honor of my life to serve this Nation, and I will do all I can to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve and maintain health."

 “During my tenure I have visited with people from all across America. And despite all that you may read on social media or see on TV, I can assure you that from Alaska to Alabama, from Maine to Montana, and from California to the Carolinas, Americans mostly want the same thing. They want a fair shot at being their best and healthiest self, and to be able to support the health and well being of their families," Adams said in a statement.

Jerome M. 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 public about pandemic response

20:07 (IST)

It's a new day in America, tweets Biden

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.

20:03 (IST)

Donal Trump leaves note for Biden

President Donald Trump has followed at least one presidential tradition by leaving a note behind for his successor Democrat Joe Biden, reports AP.  The White House confirmed that the Republican left behind a note. Deputy press secretary Judd Deere declined to reveal what Trump wrote to Biden or to characterize the sentiment in the note, citing privacy for communication between presidents.

Trump has refused to publicly concede to Biden and did not mention the Democrat by name in a pair of farewell addresses. Trump interrupted many traditions of the presidency, including by not attending Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Trump also did not invite Biden to the White House for a meeting after Biden was declared the winner of November’s presidential election

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.