President Joe Biden will briefly transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday when he undergoes a “routine colonoscopy” at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the White House said.
“President Biden will transfer power to the vice president for the brief period of time when he is under anesthesia. The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Biden, 78, arrived at the Walter Reed Medical Centre on Friday for his annual physical, his first while serving as president.
He had his last full exam in December 2019, when doctors found the former vice president to be “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” according to a doctor’s report at the time.
Biden who turns 79 on Saturday, is the oldest person to serve as president, and interest in his health has been high since he declared his candidacy for the White House in 2019.
Ms. Psaki added that the White House will release a report on Mr. Biden’s health later on Friday. The physical was not initially on the public presidential schedule but was announced hours before Mr. Biden left the White House at around 8.30 am. He arrived at the hospital in Maryland at 8.51 am.
Pursuant to the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, Biden will sign a letter to the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives saying he is unable to discharge his duties while under anesthesia, making Harris the acting president, and will send them another letter upon the conclusion of the procedure to resume his duties.