U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is set to become the first woman with presidential power in the United States while President Joe Biden is under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden on Friday will temporarily transfer power to Harris while he undergoes the medical procedure, CNN reports.
“The nation’s first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president will break yet another barrier when she temporarily steps into the acting role. Harris will work from her office in the West Wing while Biden is under anesthesia,” Psaki said in a statement, according to the news network.
As noted by CNN, “it’s routine for a vice president to assume presidential powers while the president undergoes a medical procedure that requires anesthesia. Then-Vice President Dick Cheney did so on multiple occasions when then-President George W. Bush underwent routine colonoscopies.”
However, then-president Donald Trump underwent a colonoscopy in a secret visit to Walter Reed in 2019, but kept it quiet to avoid transferring presidential power to then-Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s ex-press secretary Stephanie Grisham said earlier this year.
Section 3 of the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution says the President can send a letter to the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate declaring they are “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.”
Biden arrived Friday morning at Walter Reed Medical Center to undergo his first routine annual physical since taking office, according to the report.