Your Daily Roundup for January 21st
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Good morning. We are covering the Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
On Wednesday, the United States entered a new era of governance:
Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala D. Harris were sworn in on Wednesday as President of the United States and Vice President of the United States, marking a direct contrast of leadership to the four years of the Donald J. Trump administration. In his inaugural address, Biden spoke to unifying the country only two weeks after a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol and the seat of our federal government. Vice President Harris shattered the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman, Black woman, and woman of Indian descent to be elected to national office. Almost immediately, the tone changed in Washington as press secretary Jen Psaki held a briefing for reporters Wednesday night and promised to bring back the traditional daily briefings. 22-year-old National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman stole the Inauguration ceremony show with her original poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
The new administration’s team is reportedly dealing not with rewriting a federal vaccine rollout plan, but effectively developing one from scratch, as the Trump administration left the distribution plan to states. The Biden Administration made clear that its first priority would be controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, including by President Biden’s 100-day mask challenge and robust federal effort to produce, distribute and administer approved vaccines.
Avril Haines became the first cabinet-level nomination to be confirmed by the Senate as the Director of National Intelligence, a key national security post that is in line with the Senate’s tradition of confirming national security nominees expeditiously. The hearing process was delayed in part by many Republican’s refusal to acknowledge President Biden’s victory and the effort to overturn the election results. Today, lawmakers will consider the nomination of Pete Buttigieg for transportation secretary and will move on to considering Janet Yellen as the nominee for treasury secretary tomorrow.
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