US President Joe Biden on Friday temporarily handed over power in the country to Vice President Kamali Harris, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. Harris served as US leader when Biden was anesthetized during a routine colonoscopy.
Joe Biden arrived Friday morning at the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda outside Washington for a routine annual medical check-up. The president’s examination on Friday was his first since taking power and had been announced by the administration for months.
Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, is the oldest person in US history to take office as president for his first term.
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Harris with presidential power for 85 minutes
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement on Friday that the US leader would temporarily hand over power to the country to Vice President Kamali 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.
Joe Biden returned to his duties at 11:35 local time (17:35 in Poland).
This means that, for a short time – 85 minutes – Harris was 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 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.
Biden’s health has been a subject of debate from the outset, as well as attacks by Republicans and former President Donald Trump. Republican congressmen, including former White House chief physician Ronny Jackson, have repeatedly called on Biden to undergo cognitive function tests, suggesting he has dementia.
According to a poll published this week for the Politico portal, 48 percent. Americans believe that the president is not mentally competent enough to perform his function, and 40 percent. believes that she is in good health.
Biden has had several health problems in the past. In 1988 he underwent surgery due to the diagnosis of two brain aneurysms. A recent study published by Biden – in December 2019 – found that despite his overall good health, he suffers from atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disturbance. The president also takes statins, drugs to lower cholesterol.
Trump did not hand over power to Pence
Earlier this year, CNN writes, Stephanie Grisham, a former spokeswoman for former U.S. President Donald Trump, strongly implied that Biden’s predecessor underwent a colonoscopy during a secret visit to Walter Reed Hospital in 2019, but remained silent to avoid handing power over to then-Vice President Mike. ‘ That 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