Biden briefly transfers power to Harris while he gets colonoscopy

President BidenJoe BidenPharma lobby eyes parliamentarian Demand for US workers reaches historic high Biden to award Medal of Honor to three soldiers who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan: report MORE temporarily transferred power to Vice President Harris on Friday before he went under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy.

Biden had procedure done at Walter Reed Medical Center as part of his annual physical, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBriahna Joy Gray discusses US's handling of COVID-19 testing Senate votes to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses House passes bills to pressure China amid Olympic boycott MORE said in a statement.

"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. "The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time."


After transferring power at 10:10 a.m., Biden completed his colonoscopy and resumed his duties as president at 11:35 on Friday morning. He spoke with Harris and chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainPavlich: Biden gets walloped by the courts New variant raises questions about air travel mandates White House scrambles for safety on holiday parties MORE at that time and "was in good spirits," Psaki said.

The White House will release a summary of the results of Biden's physical later Friday, Psaki said.


Biden, who will turn 79 on Saturday, was the oldest president in U.S. history at the time he was sworn-in. His age has been a source of attacks from Republicans, and it has made the results of his annual physical a point of interest.

Biden last released the results of a medical assessment in December 2019, during the presidential campaign. That assessment was completed by his longtime physician, Kevin O’Connor, whom Biden has tapped to serve as the top physician in the White House.

The transfer of power while the president is under anesthesia is not unusual, as Psaki noted, though it was a point of contention during the Trump administration.

Former Trump press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamBiden briefly transfers power to Harris while he gets colonoscopy Grisham thinks Trump will run in 2024 and have no 'guardrails' Sunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony MORE alleged that then-President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE would not go under anesthesia for a colonoscopy when he was abruptly taken to Walter Reed in 2019 because he didn't want to transfer power to his vice president, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Harris sets record for most tiebreaking votes in recent history The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Debt limit maneuvers; Biden warns Putin MORE.

Updated at 12:11 p.m.