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Biden calls for unity to deal with challenges ahead

Published : Thursday, 21 January, 2021 at 12:54 AM  Count : 216

Mr Biden delivered his inaugural address facing the National Mall

Mr Biden delivered his inaugural address facing the National Mall

US President Joe Biden called for "unity" and pledged to be a president for "all Americans" at his inauguration in Washington, but warned of the challenges ahead as he takes on multiple crises.

In his first speech as US president, Biden declared: "This is America's day, this is democracy's day. A day of history and hope."

But as the US confronts the deadly coronavirus and deep political divisions, he warned that to overcome its challenges will require "so much more than words, it will require the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity".

He said: "Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation, and I ask every American to join me in this cause.

"This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America."

In the 21-minute speech President Biden laid out the challenges ahead.

"We need all our strength to... persevere through this dark winter. We're entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus," he said, calling on Americans to "finally face this pandemic as one nation".

He said: "Here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could ... drive us from this sacred ground.

"It did not happen, it will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever, not ever."

The United States faces "a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront, and we will defeat," he said.

The new president called for the country to "reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated".

Biden, who at 78 is the oldest president in US history and only the second Catholic, took office amid enormous challenges with the still-raging Covid-19 pandemic having claimed 400,000 lives in the United States.


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