Kamala Harris Becomes First Female, First Black and First Indian-American Vice President

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Kamala Harris is sworn as U.S. Vice President by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff looks on at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Kamala Harris has made history as the first female, first Black first and Indian-American US vice-president.

In yesterday’s historic presidential inauguration, Ms Harris was sworn in just before Joe Biden took the oath of office to become the 46th US president.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath. Sotomayor, the first woman of colour to serve on the Supreme Court, previously administered the vice presidential oath to Biden in 2013.

The vice president’s oath is slightly different than the presidential oath, matching the oath taken by members of Congress:

“I , _________, do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Prior to taking the oath at the US Capitol, Ms Harris paid tribute to the women who she says came before her.

“I stand on their shoulders,” she said in a video posted to Twitter.

Yesterday, world leaders also congratulated newly inaugurated President Biden and Vice President Harris:

Here’s what they said:

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga

“Congratulations to President @JoeBiden and Vice President @KamalaHarris on your inauguration. Japan and the United States are allies tied firmly by bonds and shared universal values.”

Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera

“Today @JoeBiden takes office as the 46th U.S. President. His Administration will have the mission of healing the soul of the country and strengthening civic friendship. The commitment to democracy, freedom and human rights recognizes no borders. I wish President Biden the best.”

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

He wished President-elect Joe Biden well ahead of his inauguration on Wednesday. During his daily briefing, Lopez Obrador also said the coronavirus pandemic, economic recovery and migration will be key areas of the bilateral relationship with the United States. “Those three themes are verry important: pandemic, economic recovery and migration,” he said. Lopez Obrador also said Biden should take steps to settle the immigration status of Mexicans working in the US.

Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan

“I congratulate President @JoeBiden on his inauguration. Look forward to working with @POTUS in building a stronger Pak-US partnership through trade & economic engagement, countering climate change, improving public health, combating corruption & promoting peace in region & beyond.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

In a series of tweets, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his “warmest congratulations” to Biden and Harris.

Pope Francis

The Vatican has published Pope Francis’ message to President Joe Biden following his inauguration, extending “cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.”

“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. At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for farsighted and united responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those who have no voice,” it continues.

The message concludes: “I likewise ask God, the source of all wisdom and truth, 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. With these sentiments, I willingly invoke upon you and your family and the beloved American people an abundance of blessings.”


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