US President Joe Biden will temporarily hand over power in the country to Vice President Kamali Harris on Friday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. She explained that Harris would act as US leader while Biden was anesthetized during a routine colonoscopy.
Joe Biden arrived Friday morning at the Walter Reed Medical Center for a routine annual medical checkup. Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, is the oldest person in US history to take office as president for his first term.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement that the American leader will temporarily hand over power in the country to Vice President Kamala Harris. During this time, she will be under anesthesia for the routine colonoscopy. “The vice president will be working from his office in the west wing during this time,” Psaki said.
This means that, albeit for a short time, Harris will be the first woman to hold a presidency in US history.
The presidential delegation is not the first time in the US
The spokeswoman also explained that the delegation of presidential powers had already happened in the history of the country. She pointed out that this happened when President George W. Bush had a colonoscopy in 2002 and 2007 – then vice-president Dick Cheney was given powers. She added that it was in line with the constitution.
There was speculation in the public space as to whether Biden would run for re-election in 2024, but the president himself admitted that he expected to run in the elections alongside Harris.
Earlier this year, CNN writes, Stephanie Grisham, a former spokeswoman for former US President Donald Trump, strongly suggested that Biden’s predecessor underwent a colonoscopy at the time secret visit to Walter Reed Hospital in 2019, but remained silent to avoid handing over power to then-vice-president Mike Pence.
In his book, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” Grisham does not use the term colonoscopy, but strongly suggests that this was what the trip to the facility was for. He says Trump’s visit to the hospital, which sparked weeks of speculation about his health, was a “very common procedure” in which “the patient is treated”.
Grisham writes that Trump did not want Pence to be in power while the president was under sedation, which was one of the reasons he kept his visit a secret. Moreover, according to Grisham, Trump “did not want to be the subject of jokes” on evening television.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / Yuri Gripas / POOL