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Inauguration live stream: How to watch Joe Biden get sworn in as president now

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(Image credit: Alex Wong / Getty)
Inauguration Day TV details

Inauguration live stream coverage began at 10:30 a.m. ET / 7:30 a.m. PT today (Wednesday, Jan. 20), though coverage began at the start of the day on all cable networks.
Kamala Harris was sworn in ahead of schedule, as was President Joseph R. Biden.

It's time to watch the Biden inauguration live stream, as momentous speeches and the oaths of office have taken place to begin the term of office for Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States. 

Millions of people are tuning in today to watch the proceedings, which began with remarks from senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), a clear nod towards the event's theme of a united America.

Inauguration Day 2021 looks very different from past events, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and extra-tight security measures brought on by the recent insurrection at the Capitol. 

Donald Trump is the first president to skip his successor's inauguration since Andrew Johnson in 1869. Three other former living presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — will be there, along with former First Ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton. (Jimmy Carter, who is 96, and Rosalynn Carter have sent their best wishes.) 

At 11:19 a.m. ET, Joe and Jill Biden entered the inauguration stage, to applause from both sides of the aisle. President-elect Biden shared a fist-bump with former President Barack Obama. Opening remarks were followed by a stirring rendition of The National Anthem from Lady Gaga, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor swore Kamala Harris in ahead of schedule, at 11:41 a.m., a bit ahead of the original 11:55 a.m. time it was planned for. President Joseph R. Biden was sworn in at 11:47 a.m., also earlier than the "right after noon" time it was planned for.

Vice President-elect Harris was escorted to the inauguration by Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman, who moved a group of insurrectionists away from the senate. Goodman performs this act in his new role, acting deputy House sergeant at arms. Harris is wearing purple today as a nod to Shirley Chisholm, who was the first African-American woman to run for president, in 1972.

Some inaugural events will be virtual or socially distanced, like the virtual "Parade Across America," featuring performances from all 56 states and territories. And instead of the typical crowd on hand to view the ceremony, attendance will be restricted. Instead, the National Mall is hosting a "Field of Flag" art display with about 191,500 U.S. flags of varying sizes to represent Americans across the the country.

Here's how to watch Joe Biden's inauguration live stream.

Biden inauguration schedule

According to the official schedule, inauguration proceedings will kick off at 10:30 a.m. ET with the arrival of Biden and Harris to the West Front of the Capitol. 

11:15 a.m. - the program begins:

  • Invocation: Rev. Leo J. O'Donovan, a Jesuit priest and former president of Georgetown University who is a close friend of the Biden family.
  • Pledge of Allegiance: Andrea Hall, the first African-American female captain of the Fire Rescue Department in South Fulton, Georgia.
  • The National Anthem performed by Lady Gaga.
  • Poetry reading: "The Hill We Climb" by Andrea Gorman, who was named the first Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.
  • A musical performance by Jennifer Lopez.
  • Benediction: Silvester Beaman, pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware, and a friend of the Biden family.

11:41 a.m. - Harris is sworn in. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administers the oath of office and Kamala Harris becomes the 49th vice president of the United States. It's been reported that Harris will take the oath using Justice Thurgood Marshall's bible.

11:47 a.m. - Biden's swearing in takes place, earlier than anticipated. Before the clock struck noon, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Biden, who became the 46th president of the United States.

Biden was sworn in on the same bible he's used for every oath of office, the Biden family Bible. 

Immediately after, Biden will deliver an inaugural address around the theme "America United."

Post-inauguration: 

1:40 p.m. - Pass in Review: Biden and Harris will participate in a traditional military ceremony on the East Front of the Capitol.

2:25 p.m. - Arlington Cemetery visit: The new president, vice president, their spouses and the other former presidential couples will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

3:15 p.m. - Inaugural parade: The Bidens, Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff (to be known as the Second Gentleman) will proceed to the White House with an escort from the military and the drumlines for the University of Delaware and Howard University (Biden and Harris' alma maters). That kicks off the virtual Parade Across America, hosted by actor Tony Goldwyn and featuring Earth, Wind and Fire and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

5:15 p.m. - Oval Office: Biden enters the Oval Office as president for the first time and is expected to sign executive orders, some reversing Trump's policies. He may also issue a nationwide mask-wearing challenge.

8:30 p.m. - Celebrating America event: The televised special is hosted by actor Tom Hanks. Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria are also appearing to introduce segments about "young people making a difference in their communities." Scheduled performers include Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Biden and Harris will give remarks.

How to watch Inauguration 2021 live stream with a VPN

No matter where you are in the world, you shouldn't be separated from your preferred means of following the news. If geo-restrictions are keeping you from watching the Inauguration Day 2021 coverage you want, you're not out of luck. With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town (or somewhere that blackouts won't hit), and access the same streaming services you already paid for. 

Not sure which VPN is right for you? We've tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service. But you've got other VPN options as well. Here are our top picks.

We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we're impressed by the service's ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.View Deal

How to watch Inauguration 2021 live stream on CNN

CNN's coverage of Biden's inauguration begins Tuesday, January 19 at 4 p.m. ET and and continues until Thursday, January 21 at 4 a.m. 

Viewers can also follow along on CNN's apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV. Coverage is also available on CNN.com.

If you've cut the cord, it's easy to get the CNN channel. It's available on two of the best streaming services: Sling TV and FuboTV

Fubo has a 7-day free trial, and its $65 per month package has 120-plus channels, and that's before you add on regional sports networks. 

Sling TV offers CNN in both the Sling Blue and Sling Orange packages, which each start at $30 per month. Both plans come with varying channel lineups that include ESPN, Bravo, Food Network, HGTV, TNT and more. You can check out everything Sling has to offer in its three-day free trial.View Deal

Fubo.TV: The best streaming service for getting 2020 NFL live streams, Fubo has all of the right network channels and the cable channels you don't want to go without. Who needs cable? Not Fubo subscribers. It's got a seven-day free trial so you don't need to pay up front.View Deal

How to Biden's Inauguration live stream on Fox News

Fox News' coverage begins at 9 a.m. ET on Inauguration Day. The news network is available on Sling TV, but only on Sling Blue. FuboTV also has Fox News. As mentioned above, both have free trials, but Fubo's seven-day trial is more than twice as long as Sling's three-day trial. 

Fox News is on the Sling TV Blue package, which also has local NBC and Fox channels (in select markets) and a slew of cable networks like FX, Cartoon Network, Syfy and USA. Sling TV is one of the least expensive live TV services in the market.View Deal

The complete streaming service for sports fans, Fubo.TV also provides plenty of ways to stay informed with the news. So, after you use Fubo to follow the Electoral College certification on Fox News and Fox Business, you can also tune into the NFL season across local CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates, as well as ESPN and NFL Network. View Deal

How to watch Inauguration 2021 live stream on MSNBC

Over on MSNBC, coverage of Biden's Inauguration starts Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET. The channel will also air Celebrating America at 8:30 p.m. ET.

MSNBC is on the Sling TV Blue package, which also has AMC, BET, Food Network and FX. Sling TV is one of the most affordable streaming services available, and Sling Blue also adds in NFL Network, local Fox and NBC affiliates, TNT and USA.View Deal

Fubo.TV is one of the most complete live TV services. It's got both FX and FXX, Comedy Central, AMC, HGTV and much more. Football fans will also want Fubo for access to every channel they need for NFL live streams, with CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC and the NFL Network.View Deal

How to watch Biden's Inauguration for free

Own a Roku? You can get free coverage of Inauguration Day 2021 from The Roku Channel. ABC News Live, NBC News NOW and Newsy are among the channels in the streamer's free offerings. 

Newsy's inauguration coverage is also available for free on Amazon FireTV, Vizio, Samsung, Apple TV, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Android TV, Plex and Stirr, as well as YouTubeFacebook and newsy.com

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.