Photo: Getty Images
  /  11.19.2021

 

Kamala Harris took over Joe Biden’s presidential duties as he underwent a routine colonoscopy at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. As CNN reported, POTUS informed Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., president pro tempore of the Senate, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. about his annual physical on Friday, Nov. 19, which would include the colonoscopy. In the letter, he revealed that he would hand his responsibilities over to Harris.

The transmission of presidential powers is an ordinary practice. During George W. Bush’s administration, he turned over his duties to then-vice president Dick Cheney on two separate occasions. Each time, he underwent a medical procedure and resumed his presidential role within three hours.

In another instance, Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, stepped up to the role of POTUS for nearly eight hours when President Ronald Reagan underwent colon cancer surgery in 1985.

Harris’ duties as acting president, however, stood out. With the transfer of power, she made history as the first woman to hold the power of the presidency. She is, however, no stranger to firsts.

In January, when Biden officially became president, Harris automatically became the first woman, the first Black person, the first Indian American and the first Asian American to swear into office and assume the role of vice president. She is also the first HBCU graduate to take on the title.

As USA Today reported, Vice President Harris took on the presidential duties from her office in the West Wing. She held the position for 85 minutes before Biden resumed his power at 11:35 a.m. According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the president was in “good spirits” after the colonoscopy. He will continue on with the rest of his annual physical; a “written summary” of the physical will be shared at a later time.

 

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