Two different threats—COVID-19 and violent insurrection by supporters of Donald Trump—hang over the proceedings, but this Inauguration Day is nonetheless a uniquely joyful one. At noon, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office and Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States. Shortly thereafter, Justice Sonia Sotomayor will administer the oath of office making Kamala Harris the first woman vice president, the first Black vice president, and the first Asian American vice president.
But first, an inauguration program including an invocation by Father Leo O’Donovan, a former president of Georgetown University; the pledge of allegiance recited by Andrea Hall, the first Black woman to become a captain of the fire department in her Georgia town; the national anthem sung by Lady Gaga; a poetry reading by Amanda Gorman, the first youth poet laureate; and a musical performance by Jennifer Lopez. (So that’s already more star power than Trump summoned up for his entire inauguration week.)