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Kamala Harris sworn in as America’s first woman vice president

Former California Senator Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice president of the United States on Wednesday, the first woman ever to hold the post.

Harris, 56, took the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a ceremony at the US Capitol.

She is the first Black woman and the first woman of South Asian descent to become US vice president.

Democrat Joe Biden was also sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday, assuming the helm of a country reeling from deep political divides, a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.

With his hand on an heirloom Bible that has been in his family for more than a century, Biden took the presidential oath of office administered by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, vowing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Biden, 78, became the oldest U.S. president in history at a scaled-back ceremony in Washington that was largely stripped of its usual pomp and circumstance, due both to the coronavirus and security concerns following the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.

Trump left the White House with his wife Melania 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.

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