NATIONAL NEWS

Biden to have routine colonoscopy, transfer power to Harris

Nov 19, 2021, 8:08 AM
FIle: President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference in the State Dinning Room at the White H...
FIle: President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference in the State Dinning Room at the White House on November 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — President Joe Biden will briefly transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday when he undergoes a “routine colonoscopy” at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the White House said.

Biden drove early Friday to the medical center in the Washington suburbs for his first routine physical exam as president. Press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would be under anesthesia during the procedure and would transfer power to Harris.

“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,” she said. “The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”

Biden, 78, had his last full exam in December 2019, when doctors found the former vice president to be “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” according to a doctor’s report at the time. Biden is the oldest person to serve as president, and interest in his health has been high since he declared his candidacy for the White House in 2019.

Dr. Kevin O’Connor, who has been Biden’s primary care physician since 2009, wrote in a three-page note that the then-presidential candidate was in overall good shape.

In that report, O’Connor said that since 2003, Biden has had episodes of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat that’s potentially serious but treatable. At the time, O’Connor cited a list of tests that showed Biden’s heart was functioning normally and his only needed care was a blood thinner to prevent the most worrisome risk, blood clots or stroke.

Biden had a brush with death in 1988, requiring surgery to repair two brain aneurysms, weak bulges in arteries, one of them leaking. Biden has never had a recurrence, his doctor said, citing a test in 2014 that examined his arteries.

Pursuant to the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, Biden will sign a letter to the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives saying he is unable to discharge his duties while under anesthesia, making Harris the acting president, and will send them another letter upon the conclusion of the procedure to resume his duties.

Harris, the first woman, person of color and person of South Asian descent to be vice president, will be making history during the short time she is serving as acting president. She is scheduled to travel to Ohio later Friday once Biden resumes his duties.

On Friday afternoon, Biden is scheduled to take part in the annual pardoning of the national Thanksgiving turkey.

When Biden took office he brought O’Connor back to the White House to continue serving as his doctor, and O’Connor was expected to lead a team of experts in conducting Biden’s physical exam Friday.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, Biden’s team took intense steps to keep the then-candidate and now-president healthy as the virus raged and took a disproportionate toll among older populations. Biden received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020 and his second dose just two weeks before taking office. He received a booster dose, which regulators say provides more enduring protection, in late September.

The White House said Biden would authorize the release of a medical report, as is customary for presidents and presidential candidates. Former President Donald Trump, 75, was sharply criticized for releasing only cursory details on his health while running and serving in the White House, including concealing the seriousness of his COVID-19 illness a month before the 2020 presidential election.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Pictured here is Gulfshore Boulevard. (City of Naples via CNN)...
Caroll Alvarado and Christina Maxouris, CNN

Floating cars, submerged buildings, no power: Floridians describe Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm a little after 3 p.m. Wednesday along Florida's southwestern coast, has been battering coastal communities for hours.
19 hours ago
Hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Inmate serving life for fatal Vegas bombing escapes prison

Authorities are searching for a 42-year-old convicted bombmaker who escaped from a Nevada prison where he was serving a life sentence for a deadly 2007 explosion outside a Las Vegas Strip resort. Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered an investigation into the incident late Tuesday after he said his office learned the escapee had been missing from the medium-security prison since early in the weekend. Porfirio Duarte-Herrera was convicted in 2010 of killing the boyfriend of his co-defendant's ex-girlfriend using a motion-activated coffee cup bomb placed atop a car parked at the Luxor hotel-casino. The blast initially raised fears of a terrorist attack on the Strip.
19 hours ago
FILE: The life expectancy of dogs can be six to 12 times shorter than humans....
Megan Marples, CNN

Dogs can smell when humans are stressed, study suggests

Dogs can smell the difference between odors from humans when they're stressed and when they're calm, according to a study.
19 hours ago
President Joe Biden on September 28 asked if a congresswoman who died last month was present at a W...
Maegan Vazquez

Biden asks if deceased congresswoman is present at White House media event

President Joe Biden on Wednesday asked if a congresswoman who died last month was present at a White House food insecurity conference.
19 hours ago
Mount Everest is shown at approximately 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) in Nepal, 2003. (Paula Bronstein/...
John Sinnott and Alex Stambaugh, CNN

Hilaree Nelson’s body found after US ski mountaineer dies during Nepal expedition

The body of Hilaree Nelson was found Wednesday and taken to a forensic laboratory in Kathmandu for an autopsy after the renowned US ski mountaineer died during an expedition in Nepal, according to Sachindra Kumar Yadav, an official with the tourism department.
19 hours ago
Woman chooses canned olives in the grocery store. (File photo)...
Brenda Goodman

FDA proposes updates to ‘healthy’ claim on food packages

The US Food and Drug Administration is proposing changes to the nutrition standards that foods must meet before they can carry the "healthy" label on their packages.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Biden to have routine colonoscopy, transfer power to Harris