Medical Technology

Biden to Have Routine Colonoscopy, Transfer Power to Harris

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — President Joe Biden will temporarily transfer the power to Vice President Kamala Harris Friday as he undergoes a routine colonoscopy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Biden drove on Friday morning to the Washington suburbs medical center for his first routine physical exam since becoming president. Press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would be anesthetized during the procedure and will transfer power to Harris.

“As was the case when President George W. Bush had the same procedure in 2002 and 2007 and in line with the procedure laid out in the Constitution the President Biden will delegate power to the Vice President for the short period of time during which he is in anesthesia,” she said. “The Vice President will continue to work from her West Wing office during this time.”

Biden, 78, underwent his last thorough examination in December and doctors determined that the former vice president “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to carry out the duties of the presidency,” according to a doctor’s report at the time. Biden is turning 79 on Saturday, is the eldest person to be president, and interest in his health has been rising since he announced his candidacy for the White House in 2019.

Dr. Kevin O’Connor, who has been Biden’s primary doctor since 2009 In a three-page note that Biden’s presidential candidate was generally in good health.

In the report, O’Connor said that since 2003, Biden has had episodes of atrial fibrillation. This is a kind of irregular heartbeat that’s dangerous but is manageable. O’Connor provided a list of tests that revealed Biden’s heart was normal and that he only required treatment to prevent strokes and blood clots.

Biden was almost killed in 1988, when he underwent surgery to repair two brain aneurysms. One of the arteries had leaks and another had a few bulges. Biden’s physician stated that he’s never had a recurrence and cited a test from 2014 which examined his arteries.

In accordance with the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, Biden will sign an email to the president pro temporum of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives saying he cannot perform his duties under anesthesia and will make Harris the acting president, and will then send them a letter upon the conclusion of the procedure , to resume his duties.

Harris, the first woman, person of color and of South Asian descent to be vice president, will be making history during the short time she is serving as acting president. Biden will resume his duties on Friday, and Harris is expected to travel to Ohio later in the week.

On Friday afternoon, Biden is scheduled to participate in the annual pardoning ceremony of the turkey that is the national holiday.

When Biden took office he brought O’Connor back to the White House to continue serving as his physician, and O’Connor was to be expected to lead an expert team conducting Biden’s physical exam on Friday.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in the early months of 2020, Biden’s team took intense steps to keep the then-candidate and now-president healthy as the virus raged and took a heavy toll in the elderly population. Biden received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020 and his second dose just two weeks prior to taking office. He received a booster dose, which regulators say will provide longer-lasting protection, in the latter part of September.

The White House said Biden would allow the release of a medical assessment, as is typical for presidents and presidential hopefuls. Former President Donald Trump, 75, was criticized for releasing only cursory details on his health while running for and in the White House, including concealing the seriousness of his COVID-19 condition just a month prior to the 2020 presidential election.

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The Medical Progress

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