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On Friday, President Joe Biden temporarily transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris while under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy. The procedure lasted for one hour and 25 minutes, according to the White House.
However brief, this means that Harris made history this week as the first woman in the country’s history to have presidential power.
“@POTUS spoke with @VP and @WHCOS at approximately 11:35am this morning. @POTUS was in good spirits and at that time resumed his duties. He will remain at Walter Reed as he completes the rest of his routine physical,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted.
It is common for a vice president to transfer power while undergoing while the president undergoes a medical procedure that requires anesthesia.
Before the procedure, Biden sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Senate’s president pro tempore.
“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,” the letter reads per CNN.
Psaki celebrated the historic moment.
“As a woman myself, I will note that, you know, the president, when he selected her to be his running mate, obviously knew he was making history, was making history that was long overdue, in our view. And part of that was selecting someone who could serve by your side as your partner, but also step in if you were if there was a reason to, and that includes the application of the 25th Amendment as was done this morning,” Psaki said at a press briefing.
“He also, of course, we also know we make history every time they’re working together, every time she’s out there speaking on behalf of the government as the vice president of the United States,” Psaki added. “But certainly today was another chapter in that history. I think that will be noted for many women, young girls across the country.”