Vice President Kamala Harris made history again Friday when she assumed presidential powers while Joe Biden underwent a routine colonoscopy, becoming the first woman ever to do so.
Because the procedure requires anesthesia, the transfer of power was deemed necessary.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the president underwent the procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, as part of his yearly health checkup.
She said the transfer of power isn’t unprecedented nor unusual.
“As was the case when President George W. Bush had the same procedure in 2002 and 2007, and following the process set out in the Constitution, President Biden will transfer power to the vice president for the brief period of time when he is under anesthesia,” Psaki said beforehand. “The vice president will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”
The press secretary for former President Donald Trump, Stephanie Grisham, claimed that Trump refused anesthesia before a colonoscopy in 2019 because he chafed at turning over power to Vice President Mike Pence.
Harris’ stint was brief, beginning just before 9 a.m. EST with Biden returning to power at 11:35 a.m., Psaki said.
Biden selected Harris to serve as vice president after a lifetime of public service. She served as San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s attorney general before representing the state in the U.S. Senate.
A graduate of Howard University and the University of California, Hastings College of Law, Harris became the first woman and first person of color to serve as vice president.
The United States has never had a female president.