(CNN) – White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that US President Joe Biden will temporarily hand over power to Vice President Kamala Harris while she is in a coma for routine colonoscopy.
“Vice President Kamala Harris will be working from her Western Division office at this time,” Psaki said in a statement.
Biden arrived at Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday morning with a routine annual illness, the first illness in his history to become the oldest president in his first term in office.
When the president is subjected to a medical procedure that requires anesthesia, it is a routine process for the vice president to acquire presidential powers. The then President George W. Bush. When Bush underwent routine colonoscopy, then-Vice President Dick Cheney did it several times.
Earlier this year, Stephanie Grisham, former press secretary to former President Donald Trump, pointed out that Biden’s predecessor was subjected to colonoscopy during a secret visit to Walter Reid in 2019, but remained silent to avoid transferring presidential powers to then Vice President Mike Pence.
In his book “I Will Take Your Questions Now,” Grisham does not use the term colonoscopy, but he makes it clear that the trip was for that. Trump’s visit to the hospital sparked speculation about his condition for weeks, which he said was a “very common procedure” during which “a patient fainted.”
He wrote that Bush had a similar practice when he was in office. Grisham wrote that Trump did not want then-Vice President Mike Pence to remain in office in a coma. Grisham writes that he “does not want to be funny” on night talk shows.