President Joe Biden will transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris during the “brief” time Friday he is under anesthesia for a colonoscopy as part of a regular health check, the White House said.
“President Biden will transfer power to the vice president for the brief period of time when he is under anesthesia. The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Biden will undergo his first annual physical exam as head of state Friday, the eve of his 79th birthday.
“Later this morning, the president will travel to Walter Reed Medical Center for his routine annual physical,” Psaki said.
Any details on Biden’s health are sure to be closely watched, given speculation on whether he will stand by his stated intention to seek a second term in 2024.
The oldest US president in history, Biden pledged before his election a year ago to be “totally transparent” with voters about all aspects of his health.
The White House also said earlier this year that the results of Biden’s eventual checkup would be made public.
In a letter released by his election campaign in December 2019, Biden’s physician had described him as “a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.”
Biden does not smoke or drink, and prior to his election worked out at least five days per week, according to the letter.
He was vaccinated early on against COVID-19, and received a booster shot in September.
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