President Joe Biden temporarily handed over power to Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday, amid his annual colonoscopy. The NY Daily News reports that Biden arrived at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on Friday morning, set to undergo the routine procedure. As is customary in situations when a president is going to be medically sedated, Harris briefly became the top official in the nation during Biden's time under anesthesia.
"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," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. "The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time." The Daily News reports that Biden was set to resume his presidential duties later in the day, following his discharge after the procedure. Among his upcoming responsibilities is presiding over the annual turkey pardoning, ahead of Thanksgiving.
Notably, Harris is the first woman to be transferred U.S. presidential power. She is also the first woman, person of color and person of South Asian descent to be elected vice president. Recently, Harris sat down for an exclusive interview with Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos and shared a little of what her office and the presidential administration had been working on. "This was a good week," she said, "and this week, when we got this Bipartisan Infrastructure Act passed and signed by the president, makes a statement about all of the hard work that has gone into it, month after month after month."
Harris continued, "I've traveled around the country, as has the president. We have convened members of Congress, we have convened people around our nation, asking, 'what do you want?' And this is a response to what they want. And it's actually going to hit the ground in a way that is going to have direct impact on the American people. We're getting things done, and we're doing it together."
Stephanopoulos then asked harris to clarify if she feels "misused or underused" by the Biden administration. "No," she replied. "I don't. I'm very, very excited about the work that we have accomplished. But I am also absolutely, absolutely clear-eyed that there is a lot more to do, and we're gonna get it done."