After one of the most hostile transfers of power ever witnessed in the US, Joseph Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the country.
The pandemic meant that the usual crowd of citizens at the inauguration was rather restricted this year. The swearing in ceremony of Biden and Kamala Harris took place before a thinly-populated masked gathering of Senators, Congressmen and former Presidents.
But the stunning visuals of the field of flags at the National Mall to represent American citizens, the heartfelt performances by JLo, Lady Gaga, Amanda Gorman and Katy Perry more than made up for this modest ceremony that took place just two weeks after US Capitol's disconcerting siege by pro-Trump insurrectionists.
And all eyes were on Biden as he took oath, with the message of Democracy's victory. Evoking Abraham Lincoln's words – “My whole soul is in this”– he vowed to bring all America together.
But as difficult as it was for Biden to take office with Trump trying every trick to forestall his inauguration, the path ahead of him is going to be equally daunting if not more, as he inherits a nation ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, deep political hostility and racial inequality.
While the Biden admin wasted no time after the inauguration and went on to sign a flurry of executive orders to reverse some of Trump's decisions, including one to re-enter the Paris Climate Accord, what will the first 100 days of the Biden government look like?
What kind of reconfiguration of policies are we likely to see in the US? Is Biden likely to take the United States to the Obama era? Or will he carve out his own niche? Tune in to The Big Story where we speak to Akshobh Giridharadas, a journalist based in Washington DC who writes on geopolitics, business, tech and sports.
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