ROUNDUP: Harris briefly serving as US President because of Biden’s anesthesia

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – US President Joe Biden briefly handed over his authority to his deputy Kamala Harris on Friday. This was the first time that a woman was at the helm of the state in the USA – if only for around 85 minutes. According to the White House, the reason for the temporary transfer of power was a colonoscopy under general anesthesia. Biden called Harris afterwards and was in good spirits when he took office again, his spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter on Friday.

The White House said it was a scheduled routine check-up at Walter Reed Military Hospital near Washington. There should be a statement on Biden’s general state of health on Friday afternoon (local time). Biden celebrates his 79th birthday this Saturday.

In accordance with constitutional requirements, Biden informed the Chair of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, and the incumbent Senate President, Patrick Lehy, in writing of the surrender and subsequent resumption of authority.

In the case of then President George W. Bush, the authority over preventive medical checkups with anesthesia was briefly transferred to the Vice President in 2002 and 2007, stressed the White House. Harris wanted to work from her office in the west wing of the White House during the time as incumbent president. This is also where the US President’s office, the so-called Oval Office, is located.

Around noon on Friday (local time), Harris flew to the state of Ohio for an appointment as planned. Biden, in turn, wanted to fly to his home state of Delaware for the weekend that evening.

It is routine for US presidents to be examined at the Walter Reed Hospital at least once a year. As a rule, more or less detailed information on the state of health of the President is also published afterwards. / Jbz / DP / ngu

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