Historic inauguration is first of its kind

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(L-R) Incoming Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, incoming US First Lady Jill Biden, and US President-elect Joe Biden watch as a Covid-19 Memorial is lighted at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on January 19, 2021 to honor the lives of those lost to Covid-19. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The inauguration of President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris being held in times of a pandemic is one with many firsts.

Dr. Todd Curry, associate professor of Political Science at UTEP, said inaugurations are historically known as a unifying moment for the country.

“They’re held, almost in part, to signal an end to a long divisive electoral campaign and to signal the United States coming together under one president,” said Dr. Curry, adding “this time it’s going to try and invoke those tones, but it’s going to be difficult.”

He said this inauguration is different for its ceremony being held partially online and with a limited number of in-person visitors, but also for the security threats being awoken after the breach on the United States Capitol on January 6.

“If we make it through without violence – it’s fine,” commented Dr. Curry.

He explained that inauguration as a part of constitution requires a government official to swear in the president and vice president elect for the transfer of power to be valid.

In case of disruption of ceremonial events, he said, president and vice president elect can be sworn in anywhere and at any time on the inauguration day.

Another historical event of this inauguration is swearing in of the first female, African American vice president with Indian descent.

“With Kamala Harris being so many firsts — the first female vice president, the first woman of color to hold that position – there is not a small amount of society that will also be sharing those firsts, it will be the first time that they see themselves in the position of so much power,” explained Dr. Curry.

He said that the importance of Harris’ position could reflect with more political participation with African American women and Indian Americans.

“There’s really no amount of normalcy to this,” said Dr. Curry, “and the best answer I can give you about what this is going to look like is — I’m pretty certain that [today] at noon we will have a new president.”

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