WASHINGTON —According to Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden is in good spirits and resumed duties on Friday. He had temporarily transferred power to Vice President Kamala Hariri while going through a routine colonoscopy.
Psaki stated that the president had spoken with Harris and Ron Klain around 11:35 am. and then resumed his duties. Biden underwent the procedure during a routine physical at Walter Reed Medical Center, where he’ll complete the remainder of his medical exam before returning to the White House Friday afternoon.
Biden’s physical was not listed on his public schedule and was announced just hours before he traveled to the hospital in Bethesda, Md.
As required by the 25th Amendment in the Constitution, Biden sent a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., president pro tempore of the Senate, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stating that he was unable to discharge his duties while under anesthesia, temporarily transferring power to Harris.
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Harris, the nation’s first woman vice president, served as the first woman to assume presidential power. She served in the capacity for less than 90 minutes.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that President Biden would transfer power to Vice President during the short period he’s under anesthesia, just as it was for President George W. Bush in 2002 and 2007. “The Vice-President will be working from her West Wing office.”
Psaki said the White House will publicly release a written summary of the president’s physical Friday afternoon, which came a day before his 79th birthday.
Former President Donald Trump underwent a colonoscopy as president, but he refused to go under anesthesia, former Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote in a new book, because he did not want to hand power to then-Vice President Mike Pence. Former Barack Obama was screened for colorectal cancer but did not undergo a colonoscopy as president.
Biden was elected president in 2012. The White House stated repeatedly that Biden would have a physical exam by 2021.
In December 2019, the Biden campaign published a summary about Biden’s medical background ahead of 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. At the time, Biden’s doctor said he was a “a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male” fit to be president.
The three-page report said Biden’s most significant medical event was brain aneurysms he had in 1988 but that he’s had no recurrences.
During the presidential campaign, Trump regularly questioned Biden’s cognitive ability and fitness to be president – attacks that Republicans have continued during Biden’s presidency.
A new Poll from Politico/Morning Consult found that Americans were growing more skeptical about Biden’s overall health. The poll found that 40% believed Biden was in good health, while 50% said the opposite. Surveys conducted last October showed that 19% of voters thought Biden was healthy.
Biden made a statement at Walter Reed praising the passage of his $1.75 billion social spending plan by Congress. Psaki also said that Biden called Nancy Pelosi from California, House Speaker, in order to felicitate her on passage of the bill.
Biden will be attending the tradition presidential pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey on Friday at 3:15 PM EST.
Joey Garrison is on Twitter @joeygarrrison