Joe Biden becomes 46th US president making sweeping changes to key Trump policies in first few hours

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts Copyright Saul Loeb/AFP
Copyright Saul Loeb/AFP
By Lauren Chadwick with AP, AFP
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"Democracy has prevailed," Biden said as he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. The new president emphasised a need for the country to come together and be united.

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Joseph R Biden Jr has been sworn in as president of the United States and Kamala Harris has become the first female Vice President in US history.

The new US president called for unity after the violent riot that took place at the Capitol Hill, stating that the will of the people had been heeded.

He began by signing a series of executive orders, moving to undo some of Donald Trump's policies just hours after being sworn into office.

They include an executive action calling for the US to rejoin the Paris climate deal and others that would see the previous administration's stance on immigration and race relations reversed.

After the inauguration ceremony, Biden and Harris went to Arlington National Cemetery where they participated with former US presidents in a wreath-laying ceremony.

Trump departed the White House earlier in the day, stating that it was an "honour" to serve as president.

Trump did not take part in the inauguration ceremony — becoming the first outgoing president to do so in 152 years.

Harris later oversaw the swearing-in of three new Democratic senators whose victories gave her party a majority in the Senate.

In securing a majority there and across a unified government, the Democrats can tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges.

Vice President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden.

The president attended a virtual ceremony swearing-in newly-appointed officials, taking a stern tone with them. 

“If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treating another colleague with disrespect, talking down to someone, I will fire you on the spot," he said.

Adding "everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity", something that he said had been missing "in a big way" in the last four years.

Euronews brought you a live blog to keep track of what was going on. Here's how events unfolded.

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