21 Jan 2021

Live: US inauguration - The swearing in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

11:35 am on 21 January 2021

Joe Biden has been sworn in as president of the United States, assuming the helm of a country reeling from deep political divides, a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic.

Biden, 78, is the oldest US president in history at a scaled-back inauguration ceremony in Washington that has been largely stripped of its usual pomp and circumstance, due both to the coronavirus as well as security concerns following the 6 January assault on the US Capitol by Trump supporters.

Trump left the White House with his wife Melania just after 8am (2am NZT) and went by helicopter to a sendoff event at Joint Air Force Base Andrews, where he promised supporters "we'll be back in some form" and extolled his administration's successes before flying off to Florida.

Biden told reporters at the White House that Trump wrote him a "very generous letter".

"Because it was private, I won't talk about it until I talk to him. But it was generous," he said.

For the latest updates:

- Reuters

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