President Biden is undergoing a routine physical exam and will be under anesthesia
Vice President Kamala Harris has once again shattered another glass ceiling by becoming the first woman with acting presidential power in the nation’s nearly 250-year history.
President Joe Biden arrived at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, MD on Friday around 9 a.m. to undergo a routine annual physical examination, which included a colonoscopy. Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, will be under anesthesia and temporarily transferred power to Vice President Harris.
In this Aug. 10, 2021, file photo, Vice President Kamala Harris speaks from the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
“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,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.
“The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time,” Psaki said.
It is not uncommon for presidents to transfer their authority to second in command. President George W. Bush did so during his presidency, tapping in Vice President Dick Cheney to serve in his stead during examinations when he’d be under anesthesia in 2002 and 2007.
However, this particular transfer comes with the distinction of being the first time a woman will hold such power. Twitter, naturally, had much to say about acting President Harris and her newfound power, even though it is temporary.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks alongside Vice President Kamala Harris during a press conference in the State Dining Room at the White House on November 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. The President is speaking after his Infrastructure bill was finally passed in the House of Representatives after negotiations with lawmakers on Capitol Hill went late into the night. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
“Madame President. Goes into the history books (while history books are still legal, anyway…) Also, everyone who is eligible should get a colonoscopy,” Joy Reid, host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut tweeted.
“Ioncurr that it is only temporary I just want to be clear to everyone who has ever said Vice President #KamalaHarris will never be President…you’re wrong. I will be saying Madam President all day. #WinWithBlackWomen #BlackWomenLead,” Reecie Colbert, a political commentator and founder of BlackWomenViews Media, tweeted.
“Well I’m gonna find some opportunities to tweet “Acting President Harris” several times to day,” President & Director-Counsel of LD Sherrilyn Ifill tweeted.
Maya Wiley, a lawyer and civil rights activist, simply tweeted a gif of confetti falling on a laughing Harris.
Others took this moment to make requests of acting President Harris.
“Since Kamala Harris is president for a day, she should sign an executive order and cancel student loan debt. Just don’t tell Biden when he gets back, he will get over it! #KamalaHarris,” civil rights advocate Ja’Mal Green tweeted.
Harris stepping in for Biden comes amid speculation that the West Wing is losing confidence in Harris. An explosive CNN article claimed that those close to Harris were upset that she wasn’t visible enough in her role.
“For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country—from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband,” Psaki pushed back in a tweet.
Harris previously made history in January when she was inaugurated as the nation’s first Black and first South Asian vice president. She is also the first HBCU alum to hold the office of vice president.
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