Biden prepares for the inauguration, delivers emotional farewell to Delaware

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris observed a moment of silence Tuesday night to commemorate the 400,000 U.S. lives lost to COVID-19 on the eve of Inauguration Day.
5:36 | 01/20/21

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Transcript for Biden prepares for the inauguration, delivers emotional farewell to Delaware
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on this Tuesday night, on this eve of the inauguration, the final hours of Donald Trump's presidency. President-Elect Joe Biden will take the oath tomorrow. He has dreamed of becoming president, first running for president more than 30 years ago. But he could have never imagined this moment and what he would face in his presidency. More crises at once than any president in modern times. The pandemic, families in economic ruin, race in America and then the deadly siege at the capitol. He has long said he would be a president for all the people, Democrats and Republicans. And just before we came on the air tonight, the President-Elect, the vice President-Elect kamala Harris and their spouses at the reflecting pool before the Lincoln memorial, observing a moment of silence to honor the lives lost and the families broken in this pandemic. 400 lights representing the more than 400,000 Americans who are no longer with us, reaching that awful number in just the last 24 hours. A year now since the first case was reported in this country. Those lights with the capitol in the distance where Joe Biden will take the oath of office tomorrow. Landmarks across the country tonight lit up to honor those lost. The empire state building here in New York just a short time ago. Earlier today, an emotion at Joe Biden with a farewell in Delaware and what he said about his late son. Tonight, the capitol remains on lockdown. More than 25,000 national guardsmen there to protect the event. President trump, the first president in more than 150 years, to skip the inauguration, but vice president Mike pence will be there and president trump now plank his own military style farewell in the morning. The vice president will not be at that event, we've learned. We will carefully guide you through it all tonight, this historic week in America. And we begin here with our senior white house correspondent Mary Bruce leading us off. Reporter: Tonight, Joe Biden's long journey finally leading him back to Washington, landing in the nation's capital with his family on the eve of his inauguration as America's 46th president. Amazing grace how sweet the sound Reporter: Biden inherits a nation in crisis. His first stop, an acknowledgement of the giant task before him, a solemn memorial to recognize the devastating toll of the pandemic. Tonight, the president and vice President-Elect observicng a moment of silence, looking out over the reflecting pool, 400 lights to commemorate the 400,000 lives lost. On the eve of his inaguration, Biden sounding his call for healing. To heal, we must remember. And it's hard sometimes to remember, but that's how we heal. It's important to do that as a nation. That's why we're here today. Reporter: Earlier today, the President-Elect bidding an emotional farewell to his beloved home state of Delaware. Biden choking up as he spoke at the National Guard reserve center named for his late son, beau. I only have one regret, that he's not here, because we should be introducing him as president. But we have great opportunities. Reporter: Biden now faces a herculean task, healing a country wracked by the pandemic, economic hardship, racial unrest and now reeling from unthinkable domestic terrorism. President trump's refusal to accept defeat delayed the transition. And now Biden will be the first president in decades to take office without any of his cabinet nominees confirmed on day one. On capitol hill today, the first hearings just getting underway. Treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen making the case for Biden's $1.9 trillion covid recovery plan. The smartest thing we can do is act big. In the long run, I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who have been struggling for a very long time. Reporter: The work ahead is staggering. But tomorrow belongs to Joe Biden, fulfilling a 50-year odyssey in public service to become America's commander in chief. Unlike his predecessors, he will get no welcome from the man who currently holds the job. No warm handshakes in the white house. No display of grace from one first lady to the next. No images to show the world America's peaceful transfer of power. Still, at noon tomorrow, as the constitution requires, Biden will raise his hand and take the oath of office. And so let's get to Mary Bruce, live in Washington tonight. And Mary, the President-Elect jb Joe Biden, that powerful moment, that solemn tribute to the more than 400,000 Americans now lost to covid. And so many recognize that he faces a daunting task now, beginning his presidency with so many crises at once. He will try to unite this nation, try to start the healing in his address tomorrow? Reporter: He will, and David, Biden will try to set a new tone, starting at the beginning of the day. We've learned he's invited congressional leaders of both parties to join him at church, sending a clear message of unity. A message that will carry over into that big address. I'm told it will be optimistic and forward-looking. Biden will recognize that we are in a moment of unprecedented crisis, but he will be asking all Americans to join him as he faces these remarkable challenges. David? Mary, such a heavy week in America, but we still take note of your new role, senior white house correspondent, after years of reporting in Washington. Well-earned and well deserved, Mary, thank you for your reporting.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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