PROMO Politician - Joe Biden official portrait 2013

Inauguration Day 2020: Biden to be sworn in as 46th U.S. president

Joe Biden
Dan McCaleb and Ted O'Neil | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as the country's 46th President Wednesday during an Inauguration Day ceremony unlike any other.

With social distancing and crowd-size limits the rule of the day during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of attendees has been scaled back significantly over health concerns.

Streets around the U.S. Capitol are blocked off, a security perimeter of 4.6 miles has been fenced off and the National Mall has been closed, all aimed at reducing crowd size.

Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris, will be sworn in shortly after noon eastern before a mostly television audience. John Roberts, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, will administer the oath of office, as is tradition. Harris, who will become the first woman and the first Black vice president, will be sworn in by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina on the high court.

Biden then will deliver his first address to the nation as president.

Unlike previous transitions of power, President Donald Trump plans to return to his home in Florida hours before the inauguration takes place. Vice President Mike Pence will be on hand though, as will former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

There will be no parade following the ceremony from the Capitol to the White House, and there will be no traditional inaugural balls because of the pandemic.  Instead, Biden, Harris and others will participate in a TV event called "Celebrating America."

Biden aides say he plans to sign about 100 executive orders on his first day in office, including one that will have the U.S. rejoin the Paris climate accord and another ending a travel ban on predominately Muslim countries.