The inauguration of the 46th president of the United States Joe Biden on today will be virtual but still feature many ceremonial events and celebrations.
The inauguration will mark the formal culmination of the presidential transition of Joe Biden, who became president-elect after defeating Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election on November 3, 2020. The victory of Biden and his running mate, Harris, was formalized by the Electoral College vote, which took place on December 14, 2020.
The inaugural ceremony will take place on the West Front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., and will be the 59th presidential inauguration. Biden will take the presidential oath of office and Harris will take the vice-presidential oath of office.
Former President Donald Trump, who continued to falsely dispute the legitimacy of the election but committed to an "orderly transition" of power exactly two months after losing, said he would not attend the ceremony, the fourth time in U.S. history an incumbent will not do so and the first since Andrew Johnson skipped the 1869 inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant.
The inauguration will take place amidst extraordinary political, public health, economic, and national security crises, including outgoing President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election, which incited a storming of the Capitol, Trump's unprecedented second impeachment, and a threat of widespread civil unrest, which stimulated a nationwide law enforcement response.
The live audience will be limited to members of the 117th United States Congress and, for each, one guest of their choosing, resembling a State of the Union address. Public health measures such as mandatory face coverings, testing, temperature checks, and social distancing will be used to protect participants in the ceremony.
"America United" and "Our Determined Democracy: Forging a More Perfect Union" a reference to the Preamble to the United States Constitution will serve as the inaugural themes.
Upon his inauguration, Biden will become the oldest president at 78 years and 61 days, older upon taking office than Ronald Reagan, who left office at 77 years, 349 days. He will also become the first president from Delaware, the second Catholic after John F. Kennedy, and the fifteenth former vice president to serve as president. Harris will become the first woman, first African American, and first Asian American vice president.