US President Joe Biden reminded hundreds of appointees to his new administration to treat each other with decency, and warned them they would be fired if they do not.
“If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot,” he said. “Everybody, everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity. That’s been missing in a big way for the last four years.”
Biden was sworn in as the 46th US president earlier on Wednesday at an inauguration at the US Capitol. He takes office at a time of deep national unease, with the country facing what his advisers have described as four compounding crises: the pandemic, the economic downturn, climate change and racial inequality.
Watch: Joe #Biden, 78, takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at a solemn ceremony at the US Capitol which was snubbed by the outgoing president.#InaugurationDayhttps://t.co/9RwbESoFab pic.twitter.com/2fh6dKnwXh— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 20, 2021
After a bitter campaign marked by Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud, Biden’s inauguration speech earlier in the day struck a conciliatory tone rarely heard from Trump.
Speaking later to the new appointees, Biden told them they have a real chance to enact change.
“History is going to measure us and our fellow Americans will measure us by how decent, honorable and smart we’ve been in terms of looking out for their interest,” he said. “You know, to contain a pandemic…and to rescue an economy.”