Biden transferred presidential power to Kamala Harris while under anesthesia during a routine colonoscopy

This is the same procedure Trump kept secret in 2019 to avoid giving Pence temporary power, Stephanie Grisham suggested in her memoir. ...
President Joe Biden talking to reporters after meeting with Democratic lawmakers to promote his bipartisan infrastructure bill in Washington, DC, on October 1.

  • President Joe Biden underwent a colonoscopy on Friday morning.
  • The White House said he briefly transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris while under anesthesia.
  • Ex-Trump aide Stephanie Grisham suggested Trump kept his colonoscopy secret to avoid giving Pence power.

President Joe Biden briefly transferred his presidential power to Vice President Kamala Harris while under anesthesia during a routine colonoscopy on Friday morning, the White House announced. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that the president spoke with Harris and White House chief of staff Ron Klain after the procedure around 11:35 am. 

"@POTUS was in good spirits and at that time resumed his duties," she said. "He will remain at Walter Reed as he completes the rest of his routine physical."


Friday morning marked the first time a woman has ever had presidential powers in US history. Biden's procedure comes as the House voted to pass his almost $2 trillion social spending plan before sending it over to the Senate. 

In 2019, the Trump White House handled the same procedure differently, according to Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary. In her recent memoir, Grisham suggested that when President Donald Trump had to go in for a colonoscopy, he kept it secret from the public and refused anesthesia so that he wouldn't have to transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence.

In 2002, President George W. Bush became the first president to invoke section 3 of the 25th Amendment to temporarily transfer power to Vice President Dick Cheney when he had to get a colonoscopy. Bush did the same again in 2007 for the same procedure.

Following several instances involving a vice president having to step in while a president was briefly incapacitated, the 25th Amendment was officially ratified in 1967 after two years of states voting on it. 



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