Biden undergoes colonoscopy, resumes duties after transfer to Harris

WASHINGTON —President Joe Biden was in “good spirits” and resumed his duties Friday after temporarily transferring power to Vice President Kamala Harris while undergoing a routine colonoscopy, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. 

The president spoke with Harris and chief of staff Ron Klain at approximately 11:35 a.m., Psaki said in a statement, and resumed his duties at that time. Biden underwent the procedure during a routine physical at Walter Reed Medical Center, where he’ll complete the remainder of his medical exam before returning to the White House Friday afternoon. 

Biden’s physical was not listed on his public schedule and was announced just hours before he traveled to the hospital in Bethesda, Md. 

As required by the 25th Amendment in the Constitution, Biden sent a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., president pro tempore of the Senate, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stating that he was unable to discharge his duties while under anesthesia, temporarily transferring power to Harris.

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For a brief period, Harris, the nation’s first woman vice president, served as the first woman to assume presidential power.

“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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement earlier on Friday. “The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”

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