United States

Biden transfers power to VP Harris to undergo surgery on Friday

19:17, 19 November 2021
Biden transfers power to VP Harris to undergo surgery on Friday Photo: Rod Lamkey/Keystone Press Agency/Global Look Press

Kamala Harris will become the first-ever woman to assume presidential duties while the President remains under anesthesia.

The White House has announced that US President Joe Biden will undergo a "routine colonoscopy" on Friday. For the operation’s time, the presidential power will be given to Vice President Kamala Harris.

Though it had earlier been announced that 79-year-old Biden will get a med examination in 2021, the surgery was not on the President’s schedule and was unveiled only this morning. It will be performed at Walter Reed Medical Center.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has promised to publish a summary of the physical later in the afternoon. She has also brought up two cases when ex-President George W. Bush underwent the same operations in 2002 and 2007 and temporarily handed power to his VP.

Having become the first US female Vice President, Harris will also be the first woman to assume presidential duties in US history.

During the last check held before the presidential elections in 2019, Biden’s doctor called him a "healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male" who could take part in the presidential race. According to the doctor’s report, Biden’s last considerable med issue dates back to 1998 when he was diagnosed with brain aneurysms.

Biden’s oppositionists have frequently cast doubts on Biden’s mental health and cognitive capacities. They take as example several cases when the President seemed to have fallen asleep at important meetings, including the recent one at the COP26 climate summit, when the head of state failed to remember his daughter’s wedding song, or the pie shop incident in summer. 

Ex-President of the US Donald Trump underwent a colonoscopy as well but refused to make have it under anesthesia as he wanted to avoid transferring power to then-VP Mike Pence, Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham claimed. 

According to the latest poll conducted by Politico/Morning Consult, 40% of the US population believed that Biden was healthy, while 50% of the questioned expressed doubts.