Vice President Kamala Harris briefly became the first woman to hold presidential authority while President Joe Biden underwent a routine colonoscopy Friday at Walter Reed Medical Center, one day before his 79th birthday.
"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," press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. "The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time."
BIDEN RECEIVING ANNUAL PHYSICAL AND COLONOSCOPY FRIDAY AFTER MONTHS OF SPECULATION
Biden invoked Section 3 of the 25th Amendment to transfer power temporarily, according to the White House.
Scrutiny over Harris's role in office and her relationship with Biden and West Wing aides has drawn attention this month as Democrats look toward midterm elections. The president's health is a subject of interest in light of his advanced age and often linked to questions over whether he will pursue a second term in the White House. Biden has said he intends to run again. Still, Harris and the president have both suffered sinking job approval numbers, calling into question the vice president's ability to run at the top of a presidential ticket should Biden choose not to seek reelection.
According to a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted between Nov. 13-15, fewer than half of voters (40%) believe Biden "is in good health" while 50% disagreed. When Morning Consult posed the same question one year ago, respondents said they thought the president was healthy by a 19-point margin.
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Fifty-three percent of voters in a recent Harvard-Harris poll said they had doubts about Biden's fitness, while 47% did not.
The White House is expected to release a complete written summary of Biden's physical exam.
Original Location: Kamala Harris briefly holds presidential power as Biden undergoes colonoscopy
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