Biden resumes presidential power after routine colonoscopy, transferring to Harris temporarily

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden completed a routine colonoscopy Friday and resumed power after temporarily transferring it to Vice President Kamala Harris.

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The procedure was done at Walter Reed Military Medical Center and is part of his yearly physical, The Hill reported.

Update 5:20 p.m. EST Nov. 19: In a letter released Friday evening by the White House, the president’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said Biden “remains fit for duty and fully, and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations.”

>> Read the full letter released Friday

“I feel great,” Biden told reporters Friday afternoon. “Nothing has changed. We’re in great shape.”

Update 12:15 p.m. EST Nov. 19: White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president resumed power at approximately 11:35 a.m. Friday

The physical comes the day before Biden’s 79th birthday on Saturday.

Original report: “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 a brief period of time when he is under anesthesia,” Psaki said before the procedure, The Associated Press reported. “The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during the time.”

Psaki was referring to the 25th amendment to the Constitution.

Section 3 reads:

“Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.”

Biden had his last full exam in December 2019. Doctors then said he was “healthy, vigorous” and was “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.”

He has had moments of atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat, according to primary care physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor.

At the age of 78, Biden is the oldest person to be president, and his health has been in the spotlight since he announced his candidacy, the AP reported.

Harris is the first woman, the first person of color and the first person of South Asian descent to serve as vice president. The temporary transfer of power will make history once again, the AP reported.