President Joe Biden has transferred his powers to Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday for a brief time to undergo a routine colonoscopy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before resuming his duties, according to the reports provided by of White House.
Joe Biden drove early Friday to the medical center, located in the Washington suburbs for his first routine physical exam as president. Press secretary Jen Psaki informed that Joe Biden would be under anesthesia during the colonoscopy and thus he has temporarily transferred his presidential power to Harris. Psaki said Joe Biden resumed his duties after speaking with Kamala Harris and White House chief of staff Ron Klain at approximately 11:35 a.m.
Thus, Kamala Harris, the first woman, person of color and person of South Asian descent to be vice president has made history during the short time she served as acting president and Kamala Harris was scheduled to travel to Ohio later Friday, after Joe Biden resumed his duties.
“As was the case when President George W. Bush had the same procedure in 2002 and 2007, and following the process set out in the Constitution, President Biden will transfer power to the Vice President for the brief period of time when he is under anesthesia,” Psaki said before Joe Biden’s colonoscopy. She further said, “The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”
Joe Biden, 79, had his last full exam in December 2019 and doctors found the former vice president to be “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.” This was known according to a doctor’s report at the time. Biden is currently the oldest person to serve as president. The interest in his health has been high since he declared his candidacy for the White House in 2019.
It was written in a three page note by Dr. Kevin O’Connor, who has been Biden’s primary care physician since 2009, that the then-presidential candidate was in overall good shape.
In that report, O’Connor said that since 2003, Joe Biden has had episodes of atrial fibrillation, which is a type of irregular heartbeat that’s potentially serious but treatable, and at the time, O’Connor cited a list of tests that showed Biden’s heart was functioning normally. It was mentioned that the only needed care was a blood thinner to prevent the most worrisome risk, blood clots or stroke.
Pursuant to the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, Biden signed letters to Sen. Patrick Leahy who’s president pro tempore of the Senate, and to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at 10:10 a.m., saying he would be unable to discharge his duties while under anesthesia, making Harris the acting president. Biden gave them each other a letter based on the conclusion of the procedure to resume his duties.
On Friday afternoon, Joe Biden got ready to take part in the annual pardoning of the national Thanksgiving turkey. When Biden took office he brought O’Connor back to the White House to continue serving as his doctor. O’Connor was expected to lead a team of experts in conducting Biden’s physical exam Friday.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, Biden’s team undertook intense steps in order to keep the then-candidate and now-president healthy as the virus protected. They took a disproportionate toll among older populations. Joe Biden received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020 and his second dose just two weeks before taking office and he received a booster dose, which regulators say provides more enduring protection, in late September.
The White House informed that Biden would authorize the release of a medical report, as is customary for presidents and presidential candidates. Former President Donald Trump, 75, was sharply criticized for releasing only some details on his health while running and serving in the White House, which concealed the seriousness of his COVID-19 illness a month before the 2020 presidential election.