Kamala Harris Becomes First Woman With POTUS Power as Joe Biden Undergoes Colonoscopy

Kamala Harris is the first woman to assume presidential powers while Joe Biden undergoes a routine colonoscopy on Friday, the day before his 79th birthday.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win presidency

Image via Getty/Pool

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win presidency

Kamala Harris is making history, once again.

The vice president will be the first woman to assume a temporary transfer of power from President Joe Biden while he’s under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy, CNN reports. It’s typical for the VP to take over presidential powers during an operation like this.

Biden visited Walter Reed Medical Center for his first annual physical as president—and is now undergoing the routine procedure before his 79th birthday on Saturday. Biden is the U.S.’s oldest first-term president. He’s had some prior health issues: in 1988, he had a brain aneurysm while serving in the Senate; doctors then discovered a second aneurysm while performing surgery. He also endured deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism after surgery, which his doctors treated.

In addition to being the first woman to assume POTUS powers, Harris is also the first woman, and first Black and South Asian vice president. She will continue to work from her office in the West Wing while Biden is under anesthesia.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney assumed power a number of times during George W. Bush’s term from 2001 to 2009, when he underwent multiple colonoscopies. Donald Trump’s ex-press secretary Stephanie Grisham suggested earlier this year that the ex-president had a secret colonoscopy at Walter Reed in 2019. He apparently hid the procedure from the public so he wouldn’t have to transfer power to then-Vice President Mike Pence. Grisham also wrote in her book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now that he “did not want to be the butt of a joke” on late-night television.

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