Need2Know: Under New Management, Best Inauguration Looks & Breakout Star

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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch fireworks from the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
January 21, 2021
Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Thursday, January 21, 2021:

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

POTUS: Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States just before noon eastern on the West front of the Capitol. The oldest president in U.S. history -- who was once one of the youngest senators ever elected -- declared in his inaugural address: “Democracy has prevailed” and called on all Americans to “end this uncivil war -- red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.” On Fox News, anchor Chris Wallace called it “the best inaugural address I’ve ever heard.” CNN
VPOTUS: Kamala Devi Harris took the oath of office to become the first woman, first Black and first Asian American to hold the second highest office in the country. She is now the highest-ranking female in the history of the federal government. Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina on the Supreme Court. WASH POST

FIRST 100 DAYS

President Biden signed 17 executive orders and actions on his first day in office as he moved immediately to undo major aspects of President Trump’s legacy. Biden halted funding for the border wall, reversed the travel ban on Muslim countries, rejoined the WHO and Paris Climate Accord, installed a pandemic response coordinator and cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline, among other moves. The new administration is expected to announce more details of its pandemic response plan today including an invocation of the Defense Production Act to speed up testing and vaccine supplies. VOX

COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

Two small new studies suggest that the new coronavirus variants circulating in Brazil, the UK, South Africa and the U.S. could pose problems for the vaccines. According to the studies, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, vaccines may not fully immunize people to the new variants -- meaning they could become slightly or asymptomatically ill and continue to pass the virus to others. The problem is that the virus is spreading so fast and unchecked that it’s being given the opportunity to reinvent itself with new mutations that may evade at least some measure of protection. The U.S. reported a record 4,409 deaths on Wednesday. NY TIMES

'Q' DESPONDENT

The crux of the QAnon conspiracy theory has always been that President Trump would stay in power for a second term, at which point he would arrest Democrats for running a global pedophilia ring in a “Great Awakening.” When that did not happen and President Biden took office without incident, many Q adherents took to online forums and messaging apps to express anger and disbelief. Some appear to have written off the conspiracy, while others have revised the terms and now believe that Biden was installed by Trump as part of the "plan." Regardless, extremism experts say they are worried that white supremacist and other fringe groups will now target disaffected Q followers for recruitment online. NBC NEWS

STOCK MARKET HIGHS

The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all hit new highs as President Biden took the oath of office, continuing a months-long run in the face of continuing bad economic data. The market under President Trump had annualized returns just shy of those under President Obama. Some investors had worried that Democratic control of Washington would put the brakes on the bull market, but that has not happened; instead, stocks were up 13 percent between Election Day and Inauguration Day for the best post-election return in modern history. CHEDDAR

NETFLIX ROCKETSHIP

Netflix shares exploded higher by 17 percent the day after the streamer reported an increase in revenue and subscribers. Even though Netflix missed its earnings projections, investors loved two nuggets in the earnings report: the company now has more than 200 million global subscribers -- showing that it can continue to add paid users even as it increases prices -- and it no longer has to take on debt to produce all that content. YAHOO FINANCE

JACKPOT

There was a single winner of last night’s $730 million Powerball drawing. The ticket that matched all six numbers was sold in Maryland, lottery officials say. The Mega Millions, meanwhile, is still in play. Friday’s drawing will be for nearly $1 billion, with the odds of winning roughly 1 in 300 million. WTOP

WHO THEY WERE WEARING

Vice President Harris wore a coat by Christopher John Rogers and pearls by Wilfredo Rosado. Dr. Jill Biden wore Markarian. Michelle Obama wore Sergio Hudson. Lady Gaga wore Schiaparelli, and J. Lo wore Chanel. Here are the best looks from D.C.’s most fashion-forward day: VOGUE

SPOTTED AT THE INAUGURATION...

… Officer Eugene Goodman, who led a mob away from the Senate chamber on Jan. 6, escorting VP Harris to cheers from the crowd: WATCH
…Bill Clinton, appearing to nod off during the ceremony: WATCH
...Bernie Sanders, sitting arms and legs crossed in his one good warm coat, and immediately going viral: SEE THE MEMES

LEFTOVERS: BREAKOUT STAR

Amanda Gorman, the youngest poet to ever read at an inauguration and easily the breakout star of Wednesday’s ceremony, said that she was struggling to finish the poem she was writing for the inaugural on Jan. 6 when the riots at the Capitol broke out. She used that event as inspiration for her final verses, which she delivered to near-universal acclaim: WATCH
Listen to the N2K Podcast! Looking for more context and analysis on the big stories of the day? Check out our podcast! Hosts Jill and Carlo break down the headlines, every weekday morning Listen on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!
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