WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden on Friday handed over power to Vice President Kamala Harris for a historic one-hour, 25-minute period while she was being removed for colonoscopy as part of a routine medical examination.
In short, Harris became the first woman to hold the presidency in the United States. She is already the first female vice president.
The White House press office said the official letters to Congress announcing the temporary transfer of power were sent at 10:10 a.m. (1510 GMT).
The president resumed his duties at 11:35 a.m., the White House said in a statement (1635 GMT).
Press Secretary Jane Sackie tweeted that Biden had spoken to Harris and his chief of staff and was “in good spirits.” He stayed in the presidential facility at Walter Reed Hospital to complete “the rest of his normal physical activity.”
Biden, the oldest person to hold the presidency in US history, went for a medical examination on his 79th birthday.
The White House called the appointment a “routine annual physical.” This is Biden’s first term since taking office in January.
Despite the administration’s insistence that a visit to the hospital was not uncommon, Biden’s departure from the White House by motorcade was announced at the last minute early Friday.
Its public schedule, which was released last night, listed only one traditional ceremony in which a turkey was “forgiven” before Thanksgiving and departed home for a weekend in Delaware. Was
Because Biden was being anesthetized during a colonoscopy, he had to hand over power under the constitution, and Harris, 57, was temporarily placed in charge of the US armed forces and stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Before being elected as Biden’s running mate, Harris made a failed bid for the Democratic nomination in 2020. Saki said she would continue to work from her office in the West Wing, taking over the reins of the interim presidency.
Sackie noted that a similar temporary transfer of power had taken place “following a constitutional process” when President George W. Bush went through the same process in 2002 and 2007.
Saki said a written “summary” of the president’s test results would be released “later this afternoon.”
Any details on Biden’s health are sure to be closely watched, given the speculation as to whether he will stick to his stated goal of a second term in 2024.
Biden promised a year before his election that he would be “completely transparent” with voters about all aspects of his health.
In a letter released by his campaign in December 2019, Biden’s physician described him as “a healthy, strong, 77-year-old man who is well suited for the presidency.” Is.”
According to the letter, Biden did not smoke or drink alcohol and worked at least five days a week before his election.
He was initially vaccinated against COVID-19, and received a booster shot in September.
The health check comes at a crucial moment in his presidency, when the House of Representatives voted to send Biden’s huge “Better Back Better” social spending agenda to the Senate for approval. Earlier this week, Biden signed another package to fund the restoration of the largest national infrastructure in more than half a century.
The twin victories come after falling approval ratings for Biden and a blow to his Democratic Party ahead of next year’s midterm elections, when Republicans widely predicted at least one lower house would take control. Has been
After returning from the hospital, Biden was to take part in the annual ceremony of issuing a presidential “amnesty” to Turkey, in which the bird was being saved from eating Thanksgiving next week. He was then scheduled to visit his family home in Delaware over the weekend, where he would celebrate his birthday on Saturday.