Biden to briefly transfer power to Kamala Harris during a colonoscopy

57-year-old Kamala Harris is the first woman to hold the post of US Vice President (File)

Washington:

President Joe Biden will transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris during the “brief” time she is under anesthesia for a colonoscopy as part of a routine health checkup Friday, the White House said.

Biden, the oldest person to hold the presidency in American history, visited Walter Reed Medical Center outside Washington early Friday on the eve of his 79th birthday.

The White House described the appointment as Biden’s “regular annual physical.” This was his first term after taking office in January.

During a colonoscopy exam, Biden will be anesthetized and the vice president will assume power, as in previous exercises, which include taking control of the US armed forces and the nuclear weapons arsenal.

“President Biden will briefly transfer power to the Vice President while he is unconscious. The Vice President will work from his office in the West Wing during this time,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Harris, 57, is the first woman to hold the post of vice president and made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Party nomination in 2020, before being chosen as Biden’s running mate.

Psaki noted that a similar temporary transfer of power, “following procedure set out in the Constitution”, was made when President George W. Bush did the same process in 2002 and 2007.

Any details on Biden’s health are certain to be closely watched, given speculation over whether he will stand his intention to seek a second term in 2024. Biden pledged a year ago to be “completely transparent” about all aspects with voters ahead of his election. of his health.

The White House also said earlier this year that the results of Biden’s final checkup would be made public.

In a letter released by his election campaign in December 2019, Biden’s physician described him as “a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.”

According to the letter, Biden does not smoke or drink alcohol, and works at least five days per week before his election.

He was vaccinated against Covid-19 early, and got a booster shot in September.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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