Call her Madam President. Vice President Kamala Harris received presidential powers on Friday to occupy the commander-in-chief role while President Joe Biden underwent a colonoscopy.
Because the procedure requires anesthesia, the transfer of powers was deemed necessary.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki remarked that the president underwent the procedure at Walter Reed Medical Center as part of his yearly health checkup.
She said the transfer of power isn’t unusual nor unprecedented.
“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,” Psaki said. “The vice president will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”
The press secretary for former President Donald Trump, Stephanie Grisham, claimed that Trump refused anesthesia before a colonoscopy in 2019 because he chaffed at turning over power to Vice President Mike Pence.
The United States has never had a woman president, and Harris’ technically didn’t become president but obtained the powers of the presidency. It was only expected to last for not more than one hour.
President Biden selected Harris to serve as vice president after a lifetime of public service.
Harris served as San Francisco’s district attorney, California’s attorney general, and in the U.S. Senate.
A graduate of Howard University and the University of California, Hastings College of Law, Harris became the first woman and first person of color to serve as vice president.