WASHINGTON, D.C. – In his inaugural address, the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, called for healing and unity in the shadow of the U.S Capitol Dome, where just two weeks prior an insurrection took place.
“Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path,” President Biden said. “We have to be different than this, America has to be better than this, and I believe America is better than this.”
Biden faces a nation where a need for healing among political divides is just the beginning, in the midst of a pandemic, a sluggish vaccination rollout, and economic devastation for many.
“Anger, resentment, and hatred. Extremism, lawlessness, and violence. Disease, joblessness, and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things,” President Biden said during his address Thursday.
“We stand here in the shadow of the Capitol Dome, completed during the course of the Civil War, where the Union was literally hanging in the balance, yet we endured. We prevailed,” President Biden said.
Biden’s inauguration made history in other regards as well, as his Vice President, Kamala Harris, is now the first African-American, Indian-American, and woman to hold the post of America’s Second in Command.
“Here we stand where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protestors tried to block brave women from the right to vote,” President Biden said. “Don’t tell me things can’t change.”
President Biden signed 17 executive orders on his first day in office, many undoing actions of his predecessor President Donald Trump, such as lifting the travel ban from Muslim-majority countries and rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. Biden has issued a mask mandate on federal property and halted the construction of both the southern border wall and the Keystone XL Pipeline.
He’s vowed to distribute 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days in office, though the specifics of that goal remain unclear.
“With purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time, sustained by faith, driven by conviction, devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts,” he added. “May God bless America and may God protect our troops.”