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Moments after taking the oath of office, President Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

What they're saying: "This is America's day. This is democracy's day. The day of history and hope. Of renewal and resolve," Biden said.

  • "Through a crucible through the ages, America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge. Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause. The cause of democracy," he continued.
  • "Democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed."

Biden vowed to "confront domestic terrorism," and channeled former President Abraham Lincoln in his pledge to help "bring America together and united our nation."

  • "This is a great nation. We are good people." Biden said. "But victory is never assured."
  • Biden directly addressed Trump's supporters and asked them to "hear me out" before vowing to be "a president for all Americans." "We must end this uncivil war."
  • Trump, breaking with tradition, did not attend his successor's inauguration.

Biden at one point in the speech led the country in prayer, acknowledging he will take on the presidency at a time the U.S. remains polarized and in the grips of a coronavirus crisis that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.

  • "We will press forward with speed and urgency," he said. "For we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain."
  • "My whole soul is in it. Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this."

What to watch: While Biden's speech included olive branches to Trump supporters, his immediate actions are aimed at reversing many of the policies that Trump imposed in the opening days of his presidency.

  • After the speech, Biden will return to the White House, where he served as vice president just eight years ago, with 15 executive actions awaiting his presidential signature.
  • His flurry of executive actions is the start of an ambitious agenda to reverse much of Trump's legacy.

Read the full speech.

Go deeper

Alabama's new congressional map rejected by federal judges

The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Federal judges on Monday night blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map and ordered the Republican-led State Legislature to create a new one that includes two districts, rather than the planned one.

Why it matters: "Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling.

Australian Open organizers reverse "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirt ban

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai during the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: Bai Xue/Xinhua via Getty Images

Australian Open organizers on Tuesday reversed a ban on t-shirts supporting Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai following widespread criticism.

Why it matters: Tennis Australia's announcement came less than 24 hours after the governing body defended the decision to ask fans last Friday to remove "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirts, citing ticket policy prohibiting political clothing, per the BBC.

FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly COVID antibody treatments

A coldbox containing monoclonal antibody treatments at a Regeneron clinic in Pembroke Pines, Florida, in August. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The FDA said Monday it's limiting the use of two monoclonal antibody therapies as COVID-19 treatments because data indicates they're "highly unlikely" to be effective against the dominant Omicron variant.

Driving the news: The FDA revised the authorizations for Regeneron and Eli Lilly "to limit their use to only when the patient is likely to have been infected with or exposed to a variant that is susceptible to these treatments," per a statement from the agency.

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