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President Biden, Vice President Harris promise unity to a divided nation

President Biden, Vice President Harris promise unity to a divided nation

President Biden, Vice President Harris promise unity to a divided nation
January 20
17:48 2021

After a tumultuous election cycle that culminated in an insurrection at the capitol amid a pandemic, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were sworn in Wednesday morning.

President Biden vowed at his inauguration his administration will bring unity and healing to the nation.

“This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge,” Biden said during his speech. “And unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail. And so today, at this time in this place, let’s start afresh all of us.”

Departing from traditional inauguration ceremonies, spectators were not allowed on the national mall to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The ceremony instead occurred over a mall commemorating the more than 400,000 COVID-19 deaths. The White House issued top priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration, which range from COVID-19 response to racial equity to the economy.

The ceremony included heightened security measures and stationed Army National Guard members. The increased security detail follows the riot where supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the capitol in an attempt to stop congress from certifying the November election. In a Tik Tok video uploaded by NBCLX correspondent Chase Cain, he shows the level of security present in the Capitol Hill area.

“And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground,” Biden said. “It did not happen. It will never happen. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever, not ever.”

Hope and unity is a reoccurring message from Biden since he was on the campaign trail. However, reactions to a Biden presidency from UNT students were mixed.

Political science senior Isaiah King, said he believes Biden taking office will be a change of pace from the hateful rhetoric witnessed under Trump’s presidency. King said he is also hopeful to see stricter mandates to curb the virus, another round of stimulus checks and relief aid provided to those with rent burdens within Biden’s first 100 days.

UNT College Democrats chapter president Keaton Hare said they are happy about Trump leaving office and feel hopeful for Biden’s presidency.

“I hope that Biden will be at least a better president and possibly enact changes in the right direction,” Hare said. “His policies and history are not what I stand for. But I do have hope that maybe something good will come out of these next four years.”

Political science senior Daniel Ojo said he remains unconvinced of Biden’s promises. Ojo said he believes the newly elected administration is a continuation of America’s historic oppressive politics just under different optics.

“People’s lives need actual change and solutions to their conditions, and all we see is political leaders backtracking and compromising on human rights all while getting celebrities to perform patriotic tunes,” Ojo said. “It’s very gimmicky. So I make jokes and criticize it because that’s a valid response to the games they play.”

In addition to the executive office, Democrats gained majority control of the U.S. Senate with the election of Senator Jon Ossoff, D-GA, and Senator Raphael Warnock, D-GA, during the Georgia run-off elections in January.

Courtesy Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times

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Cristóbal Soto

Cristóbal Soto

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