In besieged Washington, Joe Biden was sworn in before the U.S. Congress on Wednesday (20) and took office as the 46th President of the United States, ending the Trump era.
The Democrat, the second Catholic president in the country’s history, swore on the Bible, as is the tradition in the United States, before the President of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts. Trump did not attend the ceremony – the Republican did not fully accept his defeat and became the fourth president in the country’s history not to attend the inauguration of his successor, which had not happened not produced for 152 years.
Biden tackles a nation divided and devastated by a pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 people in the United States. Its main challenges will be to revive the economy, control the coronavirus and pacify a country threatened by domestic terrorism.
The Democrat will deliver a speech and then travel to the White House, where he will sign a series of executive orders that aim to mark his government’s change of direction from its predecessor, moving away from Trump’s populism and authoritarian radicalism and reversing Republican measures.
From the start, Biden wants to hand the United States over to the WHO (World Health Organization) and the Paris Climate Agreement. He also promises to vaccinate 100 million Americans against Covid-19 in 100 days and to approve the $ 1.9 trillion (roughly R $ 10 trillion) economic stimulus package.
The amount includes 400 billion US dollars (2.1 billion reais) to fight the virus, in addition to direct payments to Americans, assistance to the unemployed, small businesses and to states and municipalities.
Biden also wants to lift the ban on entry to the United States for travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries, stop construction of the wall on the border with Mexico, an unfinished symbol of the Trump administration, prevent family separation at the border and pave the way for millions of undocumented people living in the United States to have American citizenship.
After the oath and inauguration, Biden checks the guards, in a gesture that seeks to signal the peaceful transition of power to the new Commander-in-Chief, and visits, along with other former U.S. presidents – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – Arlinton Cemetery, in homage to the Unknown Soldier, memorial to unidentified soldiers killed in action.
This time, the Pennsylvania Avenue parade in Washington and the inauguration ball, traditional for the inauguration, will be replaced by virtual events or broadcast live on television.
Unpublished credentials for the new government include Kamala Harris, the first black woman to hold the U.S. vice presidency and who will play a definitive role in what has become Biden’s main challenge in the years to come: to actually govern.
The Democratic Party has a majority in the House, and Kamala will be entitled to a decisive vote in the Senate, but the fragile numerical majority is not enough to approve all measures – hence the executive decrees, which bypass Congress but can be postponed in question before the Supreme Court. , for example.
Biden picked the runner up in a symbolic nod to win two very important groups of voters in last year’s race, blacks and women, but she also reported that due to her advanced age, she is not expected to stand for election, which paves the way for Kamala to be the Democratic Candidate in 2024.
In politics for 48 years, as an adviser, senator and vice president in both terms of Obama, Biden knows he will have to use his moderate profile and known conciliatory ability to negotiate with both sides of the council. administration amid the radicalization instilled by Trump. .
Unlike the festive atmosphere of the US presidential possessions, this Wednesday’s ceremony was marked by unprecedented security and symbolic acts, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and the threats of demonstrations and violent acts against the inauguration. of the democrat.
About 200,000 American flags were placed on the National Mall, where the general public waits to see the new president, to represent Americans who were unable to attend the event. The order of the authorities was that Americans do not leave the house and watch everything on television. Only a thousand guests were able to attend the ceremony on site, respecting social distance and reinforced security protocols.
Since January 6, when Trump supporters invaded Congress in an attempt to prevent Biden’s victory from being certified, Washington has been under siege and has seen the arrival of 25,000 National Guard troops. The contingent is larger than the US troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria combined and was able to completely change the climate and the routine of the city.
On the eve of the inauguration, 12 National Guard officers were removed from the ceremonial security system after FBI investigations identified links of at least two of them to far-right groups – a feeling that developed in the ranks of the American armed forces.
The central region, where Congress, the White House, and major Washington tourist attractions are located, has become a militarized zone, blocked off by military vehicles and rifles that share space with those who live in the neighborhood. Residents and authorized persons must identify themselves to agents before crossing the streets, and every space has been monitored by the massive operation coordinated by the secret service.