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World - North America Updated: November 19, 2021

Joe Biden Transfers Presidential Power To Kamala Harris While He Undergoes Colonoscopy

By Dorcas Akanni
November 19, 2021
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President Joe Biden of the United States of America on Friday, temporarily transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris for a brief period of time due to him being under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy.

This places Harris as the first woman to hold presidential power.

Biden arrived Friday morning at Walter Reed Medical Center to undergo a routine annual physical -- his first physical in office as the oldest first-term president in US history.

It's routine for a vice president to assume presidential powers while the president undergoes a medical procedure that requires anesthesia.

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Press secretary Jen Psaki noted in a statement to White House reporters that the same process was followed in 2002 and 2007 when then-President George W. Bush underwent the same medical procedure.

"The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time," Psaki said in a statement.

The White House said it will publicly share a written summary of Biden’s physical later Friday afternoon.

Former President Donald Trump reportedly refused anesthesia for a medical procedure, precisely because he did not want to hand power to then-Vice President Mike Pence, according to a book from his third press secretary, Stephanie Grisham.

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