Joe Biden was sworn in on January 20th as the 46th president of the United States. Biden called for unity in a time of severe crisis, saying overcoming challenges “requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy unity.” He acknowledged that “healing the nation’s soul is not easy” but he will be a “president for all Americans” and will “fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.” Three former presidents, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton attended the inauguration ceremony. Many traditional activities were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About 25,000 National Guard troops and other security forces were brought in to protect the city.
After he took office, Biden immediately signed several new executive orders to change policies enacted under the Trump administration. Among them were orders to require face coverings on all federal property and to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. He also undid Trump’s anti-immigration policies, including opening a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. He lifted a ban barring travel from several Muslimmajority countries.