President Joe Biden will temporarily transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday (November 19) while he is under anesthesia for a “routine colonoscopy," the White House said.
“As was the case when President George W. Bush had the same procedure in 2002 and 2007, and following the process set out in the Constitution, President Biden will transfer power to the Vice President for the brief period of time when he is under anesthesia," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. "The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”
Biden drove to Walter Reed Medical Center to undergo a colonoscopy, which is part of his annual physical exam — his first as president — on Friday.
The White House will release a summary of Biden's physical results later on Friday.
Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday (November 20), last released the results of a medical assessment in December 2019, during the presidential campaign.
While the transfer of power when a president is under anesthesia is, as Psaki noted, routine and a "process set out in the Constitution," it was alleged that former President Donald Trump refused to do so when he underwent a colonoscopy in 2019.
Earlier this year, ex-press secretary Stephanie Grisham implied that Biden's predecessor "underwent a colonoscopy in a secret visit to Walter Reed in 2019, but kept it quiet to avoid transferring presidential power to then-Vice President Mike Pence," CNN reported. Trump allegedly would not go under anesthesia for the colonoscopy because he didn't want to transfer power to Pence.