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Kamala Harris takes on presidential role – briefly – as Biden has colonoscopy | Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris on Friday morning turned the primary lady to wield presidential energy within the US – briefly, when Joe Biden had a colonoscopy beneath anesthetic.

In a press release, the White Home press secretary, Jen Psaki, said: “This morning, the president will journey to Walter Reed Medical Middle for a routine bodily. Whereas he’s there, the president will bear a routine colonoscopy.

“… The vice-president will work from her workplace within the West Wing throughout this time.”

Biden left the White Home earlier than 9am. The White Home mentioned it might share outcomes of his bodily.

Simply after midday, Psaki said Biden had resumed energy.

The president “spoke with [Harris] and [Chief of staff Ron Klain] at roughly 11.35am”, Psaki tweeted, including that Biden was “in good spirits and at the moment resumed his duties.

“He’ll stay at Walter Reed as he completes the remainder of his routine bodily.”

Such short-term transfers of energy have been made earlier than. As Psaki identified, in 2002 and 2007, Vice-President Dick Cheney assumed the role of short-term president when George Bush had colonoscopies of his personal.

Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump reportedly bucked accepted follow. According to his former press secretary Stephanie Grisham, the forty fifth president refused anesthetic when he had what was in all probability a colonoscopy – Grisham described a “quite common process” much like that which Bush had – in November 2019.

Trump, Grisham wrote, refused anesthetic as a result of he didn’t need his vice-president, Mike Pence, to be even briefly in cost. She additionally mentioned Trump “didn’t wish to be the butt of a joke”.

The well being of all presidents is intently watched. Trump’s go to to Walter Reed – and its cack-handed cover-up – prompted reviews he had suffered a coronary heart assault. Previous 70 when he was sworn in, Trump was the oldest president elected for a primary time till Biden surpassed him.

Biden will flip 79 later this month. After his final publicised bodily, in December 2019, medical doctors pronounced him “wholesome, vigorous” and “match to efficiently execute the duties of the presidency”.

He has, nevertheless, survived two brain aneurysms, the second in 1988 when he was 45. Ought to he grow to be incapacitated for longer than required for a daily process, the twenty fifth modification to the US structure offers for his substitute by Harris.

The modification, which additionally dictates the means by which short-term energy is handed, has by no means been invoked in full. In a ebook revealed this week, the journalist Jonathan Karl reported that senior cupboard officers mentioned it within the wake of the Capitol assault, over issues about Trump’s psychological well being.

White House defends Kamala Harris after reports suggest she is struggling in role – video
White Home defends Kamala Harris after reviews recommend she is struggling in role – video

Harris is the primary Black, Asian lady to be vice-president, however her brief spell in energy on Friday got here amid reviews she is struggling and sometimes at odds with Biden.

The White Home has defended her. On Thursday, Psaki told Politico there was “no query” that racism and sexism had been a part of “assaults” towards the VP.

On Thursday evening, it was reported that Harris’s communications director, Ashley Etienne, will depart her role in December.

Amid intense hypothesis about what Etienne’s departure would possibly imply, James Clyburn of South Carolina, the Home whip and a detailed Biden adviser, told CNN: “Individuals depart jobs on a regular basis.

“I’ve been part of transitions myself on the state stage. And I do know that throughout the first a number of months – typically it takes a yr – that individuals could discover out, ‘This isn’t precisely for me.’ So these items are inclined to occur.”

Biden was as a result of perform a key obligation on Friday afternoon: pardoning the White Home Thanksgiving turkey.

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