Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office Wednesday to become president and vice president of the United States.
Biden and Harris take office at a time when the nation is facing one of the largest crises in modern history: a global pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans and put millions out of work. The country is also deeply divided politically and ideologically at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, as demonstrated by the violent and deadly insurgency into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, an effort to overturn Biden’s election.
Harris, a multiracial child of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, has become the first woman vice president, as well as the first African American person and the first Asian American to do so. Her husband, attorney Doug Emhoff, has become the nation’s first “second gentleman,” and the first Jewish spouse of a vice president.
Jill Biden, now the nation’s first lady, is an educator who plans on continuing her teaching career as she did when she was the nation’s second lady.
Mr. Biden, 78, is the 46th president, after serving as the 47th vice president under former President Barack Obama. He also served in the U.S. Senate, representing the state of Delaware from 1973 to 2009. He is the oldest man ever to be elected president.
Ms. Harris, 56, is the 49th vice president. She served as a U.S. senator from California from 2017 until resigning from the seat to assume her new role. She was California’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017 and San Francisco’s district attorney from 2004 to 2011.