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Biden White House promises to bring back 'truth and transparency' in first press briefing

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Joe Biden was sworn in as the nation's 46th president Wednesday, and Kamala Harris made history as the first Black, female and South Asian American to become vice president.

Set against a backdrop of a locked-down Washington and a socially distanced ceremony, Biden made a plea for national unity in his inaugural address as political, economic and health care crises grip the nation.

He takes over the presidency two weeks after a deadly pro-Trump riot at Capitol Hill and as deaths from Covid-19 continue to rise. Since the pandemic began early last year, the disease has killed more than 400,000 people in the United States.

The first members of Biden's Cabinet are slated to be sworn in over the next few days, as well, including Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary. Biden's Democratic Party, likewise, will assume a bare majority in the Senate after three new lawmakers – Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, and Alex Padilla of California – also take their oaths of office.

Trump, meanwhile, faces his second impeachment trial in the Senate, even though he will be out of power. The Democratic-controlled House, with the help of 10 Republicans, charged Trump with inciting the insurrection at the Capitol. The trial could begin this week.

Trump, in his farewell address, glossed over the Capitol riot, which resulted in five deaths. He did not mention Biden by name in the speech.

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