Kamala Harris turns into first lady to briefly US maintain presidential powers


US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on stage at the Chase Center before President-elect Joe Bidens address to the nation November 7, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. — AFP/File
US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on stage on the Chase Heart earlier than President-elect Joe Biden’s tackle to the nation November 7, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden transferred energy to Vice President Kamala Harris for a historic one hour and 25 minutes Friday whereas he was being sedated for a colonoscopy as a part of a daily well being test.

Nevertheless briefly, Harris grew to become the primary lady to carry presidential energy in america. She is already the primary feminine vice-president.

The White Home press workplace stated that official letters to Congress declaring the non permanent switch of energy had been despatched at 10:10 am (1510 GMT).

“The president resumed his duties at 11:35 am,” (1635 GMT), the White Home stated in an announcement.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that Biden had spoken with Harris and his chief of employees and “was in good spirits.” He remained on the presidential facility at Walter Reed hospital to finish “the remainder of his routine bodily.”

The oldest particular person to carry the presidency in US historical past, Biden went in for his medical check-up on the eve of his 79th birthday.

The White Home described the appointment as a “routine annual bodily.” It was Biden’s first since taking workplace in January.

Regardless of the administration’s stressing that there was nothing uncommon within the hospital go to, Biden’s departure by motorcade from the White Home early Friday was introduced on the final minute.

His public schedule, issued the earlier night time, listed solely the standard ceremony to “pardon” a turkey forward of Thanksgiving and departure for a weekend at house in Delaware.

As a result of Biden was being anesthetised throughout the colonoscopy, he needed to hand over energy underneath the structure, placing Harris, 57, briefly answerable for the US armed forces and nuclear weapons arsenal.

Harris made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Occasion nomination in 2020, earlier than being picked as Biden’s operating mate. Whereas holding the non permanent presidential reins she continued to “work from her workplace within the West Wing,” Psaki stated.

Psaki famous {that a} related non permanent switch of energy, “following the method set out within the Structure,” had been carried out when president George W. Bush underwent the identical process in 2002 and 2007.

Psaki stated {that a} written “abstract” of the findings from the president’s examination could be launched “later this afternoon.”

Any particulars on Biden’s well being are certain to be carefully watched, given hypothesis on whether or not he’ll stand by his said intention to hunt a second time period in 2024.

Biden pledged earlier than his election a yr in the past to be “completely clear” with voters about all points of his well being.


In a letter launched by his election marketing campaign in December 2019, Biden’s doctor had described him as “a wholesome, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who’s match to efficiently execute the duties of the presidency.”

Biden doesn’t smoke or drink, and previous to his election labored out a minimum of 5 days per week, in response to the letter.

He was vaccinated early on towards COVID-19, and acquired a booster shot in September.

The well being test comes at a vital second in his presidency, with the Home of Representatives voting to ship Biden’s big “Construct Again Higher” social spending agenda to the Senate for approval. Earlier this week, Biden signed into regulation one other bundle to fund the most important nationwide infrastructure revamp in additional than half a century.

The dual victories come after weeks of falling approval scores for Biden and setbacks for his Democratic Occasion forward of subsequent yr’s midterm elections when the Republicans are broadly predicted to take management of a minimum of the decrease home of Congress.

After coming back from hospital, Biden was on account of take part within the annual customized of issuing a presidential “pardon” to a turkey, with the chook being spared from subsequent week’s Thanksgiving meals. He was then on account of fly for the weekend to his household house in Delaware, the place he’ll have a good time his birthday Saturday.