President Joe Biden vowed to be the president who can bring America together amid the current environment of strife and division in his inaugural address Wednesday.
Biden did not mention former President Donald Trump by name throughout the speech, instead focusing on his faith that divisions between Americans can be healed. Biden also called on Americans to turn their full attention toward combating the coronavirus.
“For those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart,” Biden said.
“If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our Republic is perhaps this nation’s greatest strength,” Biden added. “Hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you: I will be a president for all Americans, and I promise you I will fight as hard for those who didn’t support me as those who did.”
“My whole soul is in this: bringing America together. Uniting our people. Uniting our nation,” Biden says in his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 46th U.S. president #InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/no3XzaEXJX
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) January 20, 2021
Roughly 25,000 National Guard troops were stationed in Washington, D.C., ahead of the inauguration, and the downtown area has been extensively closed off with fencing.
Trump chose to skip Biden’s inauguration in favor of a military send-off at Andrews Air Force Base on Wednesday morning. Now-former Vice President Mike Pence, whose relationship with Trump has fractured since the Capitol riots, skipped Trump’s sendoff in favor of Biden’s inauguration.
Just had to clip this. Air Force One takes off, perfectly timed to the end of "My Way," carrying President-for-three-more-hours Trump to Florida — and then a transition to President-elect Biden and company at Cathedral of St. Matthew pic.twitter.com/yPorUSma09
— Emily (Larsen) Brooks (@emilyelarsen) January 20, 2021
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton were all in attendance at the inauguration.