Joe Biden said it was “a new day in America” today as he prepared to become the 46th president of the United States at an inauguration ceremony in Washington.
“It’s a new day in America,” Mr Biden said on Twitter only minutes after outgoing President Donald Trump flew away from Washington.
Mr Trump left Washington on Wednesday just three hours ahead of the inauguration of his successor Joe Biden, saying it had been an “incredible four years” and promising to be “back in some form.”
“I just want to say goodbye but hopefully it’s not a long-term goodbye,” Mr Trump said in remarks to media at the White House before he and First Lady Melania Trump walked a short red carpet and boarded Marine One for the helicopter ride to Joint Base Andrews.
Earlier in the day, Mr Biden attended a mass at St Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, DC, accompanied by Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress in a symbol of unity ahead of his inauguration.
The future President was accompanied by his wife Jill Biden, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and House leader Kevin McCarthy.
Mr Biden plans to start his new administration with orders to restore the United States to the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization, aides said.