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As it happened: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris sworn in as US President and Vice-President

Re-cap 1 NEWS’ coverage as Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in as US President and Vice-President. 

Re-watch the ceremony as it happened on 1NEWS.co.nz or on our Facebook page. Re-watch 1 NEWS' full coverage from Washington DC here on Breakfast.

Keep up to date with the latest happenings in the US on 1NEWS.co.nz. For a full wrap-up of the morning, watch 1 NEWS at Midday at 12pm and 1 NEWS at 6pm, both on TVNZ 1. 

9:30am: That concludes 1 NEWS' live updates. Thank you for joining us.

As we wrap up, Biden is still en route to the White House. Once in the Oval Office, he's expected to sign a number of executive actions that will aim to strike at the heart of President Donald Trump’s policy legacy. They include orders to reverse his predecessor’s orders on immigration, climate change and handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

1NEWS.co.nz will have the latest on that as it happens. 

9:28am: Three new senators will be sworn into office today, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges.

Harris is set to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden.

The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote.

9:18am: Biden has spent a few of the first moments of his term at Arlington National Cemetery, honoring fallen veterans with three former presidents and their families, the Associated Press reports.

The president, first lady Jill Biden, and newly sworn-in Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, presided over a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider on Wednesday.

After cannon fire rumbled in the distance, Biden saluted as a military band played the national anthem.

Biden and Harris later briefly touched the wreath before bowing their heads in prayer. The president also made the sign of the cross, then he and Harris stood somberly for the playing of taps.

Biden is heading to the White House now. 

9:02am: The Associated Press reports that despite heightened security concerns for today's ceremony, after the Capitol riots earlier this month, there were no security issues at Biden's inauguration.

Law enforcement officials contended not only with the potential for outside threats but also with rising concerns about an insider attack.

Officials were monitoring members of far-right extremist and militia groups, increasingly concerned about the possibility such groups could stream into Washington and spark violent confrontations, a law enforcement official said.

There were a few scattered arrests, but no serious disruptions in the city during Biden's inauguration ceremony.

8:55am: Biden’s team has started moving into the White House.

The building began humming again with activity a few hours after Biden’s inauguration as staff for the new president started moving into their offices, unpacking belongings and getting the badges that grant them easy access to the property.

New press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that she was “in the building and ready to get to work". Psaki has scheduled the new administration’s first White House press briefing for later today.

Biden plans to sign a flurry of executive orders, some overturning actions by former President Trump, once he gets to the Oval Office.

The White House had been largely emptied out of staff after Trump flew to Florida early this morning, skipping his successor’s swearing-in.

8:39am: The Bidens, Obamas, Bushes and Clintons have arrived at Arlington ahead of the wreath-laying ceremony.

8:28am: Biden and the three former presidents who were at the ceremony are expected to participate in the Arlington ceremony. 

Meanwhile, the official whitehouse.gov site is now live with Biden's immediate priorities for his administration. They include tackling Covid-19, climate change action, racial equity, economic relief, affordable health care, immigration reform and "restoring America's global standing".

8:08am: Biden is now departing for the Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

8:00am: Congressional leaders have presented Biden and Harris with a variety of gifts.

The presentations to the officials and their respective spouses happened today in lieu of a congressional luncheon that typically follows the inauguration ceremony.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said American dinnerware company Lenox had crafted a pair of commemorative vases for Biden and Harris.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell gifted them with a pair of US flags that were flown over the Capitol during the inauguration.

The White House is being deep-cleaned ahead of the Bidens' move, amid Covid-19 concerns. 

7:54am: The Washington Post reports QAnon believers are grappling with doubt as Biden's administration takes power, despite the extremist ideology's preachings that Trump's exit from the White House wouldn't go by quietly. Some wondered whether they'd been duped.

7:52am: In one of his first official acts, Biden planned to return the United States to the worldwide fight to slow global warming and to launch a series of climate-friendly efforts that could transform how Americans drive and get their power. 

“A cry for survival comes from the planet itself,” Biden said in his inaugural address. “A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now.”

Biden was to sign an executive order rejoining the Paris climate accord within hours of taking the oath of office, fulfilling a campaign pledge.

The move undoes the US withdrawal ordered by predecessor Trump, who belittled the science behind climate efforts, loosened regulations on heat-trapping oil, gas and coal emissions, and spurred oil and gas leasing in pristine Arctic tundra and other wilderness.

7:43am: Biden has signed his first documents as President.

He's signing the Inauguration Day Proclamation, Nominations to Cabinet Positions, and Nominations to sub-Cabinet Positions.

He'll be inspecting military troops next. Then, he'll be travelling to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

7:41am: New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta joins world leaders in congratulating Biden and Harris.

Mahuta tweets: "Congratulations President @JoeBiden and Vice President @KamalaHarris on your inauguration. Aotearoa values our close relationship. Kua ea ngā manako a te iti, me te rahi nō Amerika ka turuturu whakatau a kia tina, Haumi ē Hui ē Tāiki e!" 

7:30am: Pope Francis has sent a message to Biden.

"I extend cordial good wishes ... under your leadership, may the American people continue to draw strength from the lofty political, ethical and religious values that have inspired the nation since its founding," he wrote in a statement.

“I likewise ask God ... to guide your efforts to foster understanding, reconciliation and peace within the United States and among the nations of the world in order to advance the universal common good."

7:25am: In his first hours as president, Biden will aim to strike at the heart of President Donald Trump’s policy legacy, signing a series of executive actions that will reverse his predecessor’s orders on immigration, climate change and handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reports.

Before departing the White House, Trump also extended the Secret Service protection of his children by six months. 

7:18am: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany's president, has called today a "good day for democracy", ABC News reports.

"I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the US-Israel alliance, to continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran. I wish you the greatest success," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says.

Prime Minister of India Narenda Modoi tweets: "Congratulations to @KamalaHarris on being sworn-in as @VP. It is a historic occasion. Looking forward to interacting with her to make India-USA relations more robust. The India-USA partnership is beneficial for our planet."

7:11am: Pence and his successor Harris shared a few moments together as they departed the ceremony. A video posted on Twitter shows the pair, alongside their significant others, speaking on the steps of the Capitol.

7:05am: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has congratulated Biden and Harris.

"Congratulations, @JoeBiden, on your inauguration as the 46th President of the United States. Our two countries have tackled some of history’s greatest challenges together - and I’m looking forward to continuing this partnership with you, @KamalaHarris, and your administration," he tweeted.

7:00am: The official swearing-in ceremony has concluded, but more events are planned throughout the day.

Biden and first lady Jill Biden departed the platform at the US Capitol following a ceremony that included Biden taking the oath Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States.

Harris also took her oath of office, becoming the nation's first female Vice-President.

Following his departure from the platform, Biden was expected to sign paperwork in the President’s Room within the US Capitol.

Afterward, he reviews troops outside the Capitol before departing and traveling to Arlington National Cemetery for a ceremony with former presidents in attendance.

Later, Biden is expected to make his first official arrival at the White House as president before a virtual inaugural parade.

6:55am: Trump will go down as "one of the worst presidents" in history, Sinha tells Breakfast.

She says it was "amazing" to hear Trump was already taking credit for any coming achievements of the Biden-Harris administration.

"He will soon be held to account."

6:47am: Award-winning author of books on slavery and abolition, and professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Connecticut Manisha Sinha is on Breakfast now.

"This was an amazing experience. Being an Indian-American immigrant ... just the historic nature of having only our second Irish-American Catholic President and our first Black and Indian-American female Vice-President really touched me in a way that I did not expect," Sinha says.

She says the new administration is a source of hope. 

6:45am: Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, 22, summoned images dire and triumphant Wednesday as she called out to the world “even as we grieved, we grew."

"We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed,

It can never be permanently defeated."

6:42am: Biden has sent his first tweet as President.

"There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face. That's why today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work delivering bold action and immediate relief for American families," he wrote on the social media site.

6:35am: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Biden on his inauguration.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Joe Biden. Source: 1 NEWS

“I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Ardern says.

“New Zealand and the United States have shared interests in addressing global challenges including climate change, the Covid-19 economic recovery, and the security, prosperity and sustainability of the Indo-Pacific and Pacific Island regions.

"We have a common investment in the international rules-based order and I welcome President Biden’s intentions for the US to re-join the Paris Agreement and halt its withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

“President Biden is a good friend of New Zealand, and we have fond memories of his 2016 visit to our shores. Under his presidency the strong and close relationship that New Zealand enjoys with the United States will continue to develop and flourish.

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Jacinda Ardern congratulates Joe Biden on inauguration — 'A good friend to NZ'

“President Biden’s message of unity as he takes office is one that resonates with New Zealanders and, on behalf of New Zealand, I wish him well as he begins his presidency."

6:31am: And what of Trump?

Trump’s second impeachment trial could start as early as this week. That could test the ability of the Senate, poised to come under Democratic control, to balance impeachment proceedings with confirmation hearings and votes on Biden’s Cabinet choices.  

6:30am: What now after today's ceremony?

Biden was eager to go big early, with an ambitious first 100 days that includes a push to speed up the distribution of Covid-19 vaccinations to anxious Americans and pass a multi-trillion virus relief package.

US President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington. Source: Associated Press

On Day One, he’ll also send an immigration proposal to Capitol Hill that would create an eight-year path to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally.

He also planned a 10-day blitz of executive orders on matters that don’t require congressional approval — a mix of substantive and symbolic steps to unwind the Trump years.

Among the planned steps: rescinding travel restrictions on people from several predominantly Muslim countries; rejoining the Paris climate accord; issuing a mask mandate for those on federal property; and ordering agencies to figure out how to reunite children separated from their families after crossing the border.

6:23am: 1 NEWS US correspondent Anna Burns Francis says security at Washington DC was tight all of today. 

Motorways and most of the area is blocked off. Sniffer dogs and thousands of national guard troops and police officers are patrolling.

"It's silent, there's no noise," Francis says of the lack of a crowd because of pandemic restrictions.

6:20am: "Congratulations to my friend," former President Barack Obama tweets.

6:15am: Yablon tells Breakfast today's inauguration is very different to Trump's four years ago. 

The core message from Biden today is continuity, he says.

Yablon says although Trump wasn't there, there's a "larger story" of the continuation of America's democracy. 

6:10am: Biden says: It's "time to set aside politics" in America's Covid-19 fight. 

"The world is watching all of us today."

He tells the world USA will "engage with the world once again" and repair alliances.

"We will lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example."

6:04am: "I will be a President for all Americans," Biden declares. 

5:56am: There's "much" to repair and heal in the US, Biden says. 

He reflects on the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed 400,000 Americans and the racial tensions in the US. 

Domestic terrorism, white supremacy and extremism must be confronted and defeated, he added.

He calls for unity.

5:53am: "Today is democracy's day," Biden says in his first address.

"Democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. ... Democracy has prevailed."

Joe Biden sworn in as President of the United States. Source: Associated Press

5:52am: Biden gives his first address to the nation as President.

He takes to the lectern, smiling.

5:48am: Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President.

He embraces his wife Jill. 

5:43am: Harris' swearing in is a "striking contrast" to the past four years as she breaks historic gender and racial barriers in American politics, University of Wisconsin Law School's Robert Yablon tells Breakfast. Yablon is currently a visiting academic at Victoria University.

5:40am: Kamala Harris is sworn in as Vice-President, the first Black woman in the role.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi embrace as they arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington DC. Source: Associated Press

5:36am: Lady Gaga sings the national anthem. 

Jennifer Lopez will also be performing later today.

5:31am: In the UK, Boris Johnson has offered his congratulations to Biden ahead of his presidential inauguration in Washington.

1 NEWS' Europe Correspondent Daniel Faitaua reports the British Prime Minister says he's looking foward to working closely with Biden's new administration.

"As I said when I spoke with him on his election as president, I look forward to working with him and with his new administration, strengthening the partnership between our countries and working on our shared priorities from tackling climate change, building back better from the pandemic and strengthening our transatlantic security."

5:26am: Roy Blunt, senator for Missouri, delivers his address. 

The assault on the Capitol two weeks ago reveals the "fragile" but "resilient" democracy of the US that has to balance and check itself, he says.

5:19am: Biden and his wife Jill are making their way to their seats. Amy Klobuchar, senior senator from Minnesota, delivers some opening remarks.

Klobuchar makes reference to the Capitol riots earlier this month, saying today marked the country moving forward together. 

"We pledge today to never take our democracy for granted," she says.

5:11am: His presidency over, Trump this morning said farewell to Washington but also hinted about a comeback despite a legacy of chaos, tumult and bitter divisions in the country he led for four years.

“So just a goodbye. We love you," Trump told supporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland where he walked across a red carpet and boarded Air Force One. "We will be back in some form.”

President Donald Trump gestures as first lady Melania Trump looks on before giving a speech to supporters at Andrews Air Force Base, ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration. Source: Associated Press

Members of Trump’s family gathered for the send-off on the military base along with the president’s loyalists, who chanted “We love you!” “Thank you, Trump” and “USA”. Four Army cannons fired a 21-gun salute.

Trump landed in Florida just before 5am. 

5:08am: Today, of course, marks the end of Trump's administration. 

From border walls, constant falsehoods, tweets, baseless election fraud claims, two impeachments, and a Covid-19 response that has seen 400,000 Americans die, Donald Trump’s time in the White House was far from conventional.

Last night, 1 NEWS looked back at the past four years of the Trump administration.

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He pledged to make America great again, and at the beginning his time in office looked promising. Source: 1 NEWS

5:02am: Who is expected today? 

George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, were first to arrive at the complex today, several hours before Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.

Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton followed shortly thereafter, with each couple arriving in separate motorcades.

The other living former president, 96-year-old Jimmy Carter, previously announced he would not attend Biden’s inauguration. Carter and his wife, 93-year-old Rosalynn Carter, have largely spent the coronavirus pandemic at their home in Plains, Georgia.

Most of Congress and the Supreme Court are expected to be at today’s ceremony, as with previous inaugurations.

Outgoing President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump departed Washington earlier today skipping the Biden inaugural festivities and heading straight to their home in Florida.

Meanwhile, Trump's Vice-President Mike Pence has arrived in the Capitol for the swearing-in of his successor Harris. He has chosen to attend the ceremony instead of Trump’s farewell.

Crowds are expected to be small due to pandemic restrictions.

5:00am: Just shortly after 4:30am, Biden and Harris arrived at US Capitol for the inaugural ceremony and swearing-in.

Biden and his wife, Jill, arrived at the complex this morning, about 90 minutes before his swearing-in ceremony.

They were accompanied by Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, and were greeted by US Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

The president-elect’s motorcade wound its way through a mostly deserted Washington following a morning church service at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle. Streets that would typically be lined with thousands of inaugural onlookers were ringed instead with a massive security presence to include military vehicles and armed troops.