Kamala Harris held US Presidency for 85 minutes
US: U.S. President Joe Biden briefly transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday as he underwent a colonoscopy, making her the first woman to hold the Presidential reins in U.S. history.
Biden, a Democrat, alerted leaders in Congress of the power transfer at 10:10 a.m. EST (1510 GMT) and took back control at 11:35 EST, the White House said.
The President was undergoing a routine physical at the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said Biden spoke to Harris and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain after the procedure and was “in good spirits.” Biden’s power transfer which lasted 85 minutes occurred while he was under anesthesia for the colonoscopy. Harris worked from her office in the West Wing of the White House during that time, Psaki said.
Harris is the first woman to serve as Vice President of the United States; no woman has ever been President in the country’s nearly 250-year history.
The US Constitution’s 25th Amendment lays out a process for the President to transfer power when he is unable to discharge his duties.
Presidential power has been transferred to the Vice President before, when President George W. Bush had colonoscopies in 2002 and 2007.
After Harris’ run as Acting President for 85 minutes, she was ready to travel from Washington, D.C., to Columbus, Ohio, to promote the administration’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan law that was signed by Biden earlier this week, the New York Post reported.
Biden, who turned 79 on Saturday, is the oldest person to take office as US President, leading to high interest in his health and well-being. Although speculation has persisted about whether he will run for re-election in 2024, he has said he expects to seek a second four-year term. – GULF NEWS