President Joe Biden delegated power to Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday while undergoing anesthesia for a colonoscopy. The treatment was part of his annual physical examination.
Harris became the first female acting president after a quick transition of power - one hour and 25 minutes, to be exact. During that time, she worked from her West Wing office. President George W. Bush previously temporarily transferred control in 2002 and 2007 for the same procedure, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Biden briefly transfers power to Kamala Harris
The president signed letters to members of Congress advising them of the temporary transfer of power. The White House had indicated in May that he would have his medical exam this year and that the findings would be made public, but there had been no more updates until Friday.
His most recent physical was over two years ago, in December 2019, when he was running for office. Biden's doctor declared at the time that he is a "healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old man, who is fit to properly execute the duties of the president," albeit he does have nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, as per CBS News.
According to Debbie Walsh, head of the Center for American Women and Politics, while the moment is historic, it does not count as a woman who has served as president of the United States.
t does, however, highlight the fact that "for the first time in history, a woman is the number one person in the line of succession," as she put it. "That glass ceiling hasn't been cracked yet; it's still not the presidency," The Strait Times reported.
The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution establishes a procedure for the president to transfer authority if he is unable to perform his responsibilities.
Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, is the oldest person to be elected president of the United States, which has sparked widespread concern about his health and well-being. Although there has been debate over whether he would seek re-election in 2024, he has stated that he intends to run for a second four-year term.
US President says he "feels great"
Biden has stated that he will be more open about his health than his predecessor, Donald Trump. The Republican paid a visit to Walter Reed in 2019 for an unannounced purpose, which was later revealed to be a colonoscopy by a former press secretary, Stephanie Grisham.
After worries about Trump's mental acuity were raised, his doctor briefed the press on the president's health. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that the White House would issue a detailed written description of Biden's physical examination later on Friday.
After undergoing his yearly check-up and a colonoscopy, Joe Biden informed reporters on Friday that his health was "good."
"I feel great," the President said, assuring reporters that he was fit to continue serving as President. He also stated that "nothing has changed" and that his health is in "great shape," putting an end to any conjecture that may have arisen as a result of his hospital stay.
According to Biden, the White House would "share all the detail" of the procedure so that Americans are aware of their leaders' health status. Biden, on the other hand, joked that he was "looking forward to celebrating my 58th birthday," eliciting chuckles from reporters, as per Express.co.