Kamala Harris Briefly Becomes First Woman Acting U.S. President as Joe Biden Underwent Colonoscopy
Vice President Kamala Harris briefly became the acting U.S. president after President Joe Biden transferred power to her as he underwent a colonoscopy Friday.
The move made Harris the first woman to hold the presidential office in the United States' nearly 250-year history, Reuters reported.
The White House said Joe Biden informed the Congress of the transfer of power at 10:10 a.m. and took back control at 11:35 a.m. This means Kamala Harris, the country's first woman vice president, was given the title "acting president" for an hour and 25 minutes.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the president spoke to Harris and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain after the procedure and was "in good spirits."
Psaki noted that Biden's power transfer happened while he was under anesthesia for the colonoscopy. The vice president worked from her office in the West Wing of the White House during that time.
Axios reported that the president had also received his first annual physical as president. Psaki said Kamala Harris, serving briefly as president, was "another chapter in that history" that will be noted for many women and young girls across the country.
Biden's physician, Kevin O'Connor, said in a letter after the medical procedure that the president remains "healthy, vigorous, 79-year-old male."
Despite showing some signs of aging, O'Connor noted that Joe Biden is still fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, including those as Chief Executive, Head of State, and Commander in Chief.
Kamala Harris as Acting U.S. President
The president's physical, conducted a day before his 79th birthday, was not listed on his public schedule and was announced just hours before he traveled to the hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, USA Today reported.
Joe Biden sent letters to Sen. Patrick Leahy, president pro tempore of the Senate, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informing them that he could not discharge his duties while under anesthesia, temporarily transferring his power to Kamala Harris.
Meanwhile, Debbie Walsh, the director of the research group Center for American Women and Politics, said Harris had the presidential reins for a while, reinforcing that for the first time, "a woman is the number one person in the line of succession."
However, Walsh noted that while historical, it still does not count as a woman having served as U.S. president. She said it was still not the presidency and "that glass ceiling has not yet been broken."
Although some considered the moment monumental, others made it a source of internet jokes. Buzzfeed reported that journalist Laura Bassett tweeted that the U.S. got the first woman president "because a dude had a colonoscopy."
Concerns on Joe Biden's Health
The health of Joe Biden, who is the oldest person to take office as U.S. president, had been a point of discussion since his presidential campaign, with former President Donald Trump regularly questioning his cognitive ability and fitness to be president.
In December 2019, the Biden campaign released a summary of the president's medical history ahead of the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries.
Biden's physician said the president does not drink alcohol or use tobacco products, adding that Biden exercises at least five days a week.
A new poll from Politico/Morning Consult noted that 40 percent of Americans believe Joe Biden is in "good health," but 50 percent disagreed with it.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Joe Biden Hands Kamala Harris Presidential Powers as He Undergoes Colonoscopy - From The Telegraph
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