Joseph Robinette Biden Jr has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

“This is America’s day,” Biden said, gazing across the sprawl of the capital city’s national monuments, now guarded by a military garrison unprecedented in modern times and devoid of spectators as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. “This is democracy’s day.”

Millions of Americans watched from home as the Chief Justice John Roberts administered the 35-word oath of office to Biden, moments before noon, when he formally inherited the powers of the presidency.

Donald Trump left the White House on Wednesday morning and was not in attendance.  Mike Pence, the outgoing vice-president, was there, joined by the Clintons, the Bushes and the Obamas.