Kamala Harris Became The First Woman With Presidential Powers Briefly

Story Highlights
  • US Vice-President Kamala Harris became the first woman to be given presidential powers.
  • Harris took incharge for 85 minutes.
  • Medical examination of Prez came on the eve of his 79 th birthday

United States: President Joe Biden on Friday temporarily transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris while he was under anaesthesia for a routine colonoscopy for one hour and 25 minutes, according to the White House. The nation’s first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president broke yet another barrier when she temporarily stepped into the acting role. Reportedly, Harris worked from her office in the West Wing while Biden was under anaesthesia.

Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, arrived Friday morning at Walter Reed Medical Center to undergo his first routine annual physical since taking office. To officially transfer the presidential powers to Harris, Biden sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Sen, the letter reads: “Today I will undergo a routine medical procedure requiring sedation. In view of present circumstances, I have determined to transfer temporarily the powers and duties of the office of President of the United States to the Vice President during the brief period of the procedure and recovery.” In order to transfer the powers back to Biden, a separate letter was sent after the procedure. “In accordance with the provisions of section 3 of the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, I hereby transmit to you my written declaration that I am able to discharge the powers and duties of the Office of the President of the United States and that I am resuming those powers and duties.”

Presidential power has been transferred to the vice president before when President George W. Bush had colonoscopies in 2002 and 2007. Biden is the oldest person to take office as US president. Although speculation has persisted about whether he will run for re-election in 2024, he has said he expects to seek a second four-year term alongside Harris. Biden has pledged to be more transparent about his health than predecessor Donald Trump. The Republican visited Walter Reed in 2019 for an undisclosed reason that a former press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, later revealed was for a colonoscopy.

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