Politics

Biden resumes duties after colonoscopy, transfer of power to VP Harris


President Biden resumed his presidential duties Friday after a brief transfer of power to Vice President Kamala Harris while he underwent a colonoscopy.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president was in “good spirits” after the procedure and will remain at Walter Reed Medical Center while he completes the rest of his physical.

The president spoke with Ms. Harris and his chief of staff, Ron Klain, at about 11:35 a.m. when he recovered from the anesthesia, said Ms. Psaki.

Mr. Biden had transferred power to Ms. Harris while he underwent the endoscopic examination of his rectum and colon.

Mr. Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, is the nation’s oldest president.

Ms. Harris, the nation’s first woman vice president, became the first woman to assume presidential power.

Mr. Biden had the medical procedure done at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, as part of his annual physical, Ms. Psaki said.

“As was the case when President George W. Bush had the same procedure in 2002 and 2007, and following the process set out in the Constitution, President Biden will transfer power to the Vice President for the brief period of time when he is under anesthesia,” Ms. Psaki said in a statement. “The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”

Ms. Psaki said the White House will release a full summary of the president’s physical later this afternoon.

Pressed for months about when Mr. Biden would get an exam, the White House repeatedly pledged to be transparent about the results.

Earlier this year, Ms. Psaki promised to make “all of that information available” about the results of his physical.

Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Mr. Biden released a summary of his medical history, which described him as “healthy” and “vigorous.”

The three-page report found that Mr. Biden was treated for irregular heartbeat, gastroesophageal reflux and allergies.

Former President Trump also underwent a colonoscopy at Walter Reed in 2019. Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham alleges in her new book that Mr. Trump refused anesthesia for the procedure so he would not have to transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence. 




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