Vice President Kamala Harris will be in charge of the country for a brief period on Friday morning when President Joe Biden goes under anesthesia for a colonoscopy being conducted as part of his annual physical. 

According to the White House, Harris will work from her West Wing office. This means she won’t be in the Oval Office when she takes over as president. Harris assumes the presidency amid reports that she has been left out by the Obama administration. The White House vigorously refuted these claims. 

Harris will be remembered for her first time as a vice president and the first woman to hold that office.  

After Democrats passed the $1.75 trillion Build back Better spending bill, President Biden went to Walter Reed to get his physical. This was days after polls showed that Americans were divided on his mental fitness and ability to manage the presidency. 

Regular screenings for colon carcinoma should be started at 45, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average colonoscopy lasts about one hour. George W. Bush, the president who had undergone a colonoscopy while still in office was the last to do so. He also transferred power to the then-Vice President Cheney. 

Biden’s motorcade reached Walter Reed Military Center around 8:51 AM. ET, Biden’s motorcade arrived at Walter Reed Military Center at 8:51 a.m. ET. There he would undergo his first medical examination as president. He will be 79 years old on the day of it. Biden, dressed in a mask on his face, waved at the doorman as he entered.

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, announced that Biden would undergo an examination on Friday morning. She also added later that he “will undergo routine colonoscopy.”  

“As it was in George W. Bush’s 2002 and 2007 procedures, the President will give power to Vice President during the short period he is anesthetized. Psaki stated that the Vice President would work in her West Wing office during this period.

According to her, the White House will release an unofficial summary of Biden’s physical late Friday afternoon. 

As required by section three of 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 and designate Harris. Biden will then send another letter following the end of the procedure, indicating that he is able to resume his duties as an officer.  

Biden’s action comes while the House was voting for his $1.75 billion Build Back Better package, which includes social safety net programs.   

President Biden waves as he arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for his annual physical

President Biden waves as he arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for his annual physical

The White House announced early Friday morning President Biden would go to the military hospital for his annual physical

Early Friday morning, the White House declared that President Biden will be going to military hospital for an annual physical

President Joe Biden is getting his first routine annual physical as president, just a day shy of his 79th birthday

One day short of Joe Biden’s 79th birthday, President Joe Biden has his first annual routine physical.

Biden leaving the White House Friday morning for Walter Reed Medical Center

Biden will be leaving Friday’s White House to go to Walter Reed Medical Center 

A member of security team cleans President Biden's limousine before the president departs the White House for Walter Reed Medical Center

One member of the White House security team washes President Biden’s limousine prior to the president’s departure for Walter Reed Medical Center.

Vice President Kamala Harris will be in charge Friday when President Joe Biden goes under anesthesia for a colonoscopy being conducted as part of his annual physical

When President Joe Biden is anesthetized for a colonoscopy as part his annual physical, Vice President Kamala Harris and Kamala Harris are in charge.

Walter Reed Medical Center is a Bethesda Military Center that serves as the primary hospital for presidents. 

Donald Trump was there for COVID. In November 2019, Trump visited Walter Reed, where it was revealed that he had a colonoscopy. The White House stated that he had a partial physical at the time. 

But former Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham indicated in her book on the administration Trump was getting a colonoscopy without anesthesia.

Grisham stated that Trump was reluctant to cede power to Vice President Mike Pence even for a brief time. This would be’showing weakness.

On late-night TV, he also did not want to be “the buttof the joke,” she said.   

Biden visits Walter Reed on Friday amid growing questions over the nation’s elderly president. As earlier this week, new polls show that the voters are split about whether Biden has the mental fitness and health to take on the presidency. 

In a poll conducted by Politico/Morning Consult, only 42% of the respondents agreed that Biden is in good health. 50% were not so sure.

Biden received a harsher rating regarding his mental state. 

When asked whether Biden is mentally healthy, the voters had a close split. 46% of them said yes and 48% were against. 

When asked if Biden was stable, voters were split with 44% saying that he is and 50% disagreeing.

Voters’ opinions on the president’s health appear to be shifting with more of them concerned about his fitness. 

When the last poll surveyed this question in October 2020, a larger margin of 19 points was recorded by voters than the recent one, which is a 10 point difference. Addtionally, in that October 2020 survey, voters believed Biden was mentally fit by a 21-point margin.

Biden turns 79 on Saturday and the last extensive update on his health came in December 2019 – during the presidential campaign – where his doctor described him as ‘a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.’  ‘  

Donald Trump was 70 years old when he became president. He mocked Biden’s endurance on last year’s campaign trail and gave him the nickname ‘Sleepy Joe’ 

Trump’s first medical was published in January 2018, one year after his swearing-in. 

An exuberant Dr. Ronny Jackson, now a Republican House member in Congress, praised Trump for having ‘incredible genes,’ which allowed the then 71-year-old president to consume Diet Coke, McDonald’s, ice cream and exercise very little and still stay in ‘very, very good health.’    

‘I have absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability,’ Jackson also assured reporters, after the book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House had raised questions about Trump’s mental state. 

Former President Donald Trump

Former Vice President Mike Pence

In November 2019, Donald Trump visited Walter Reed. It was later discovered that it was a colonoscopy. Stephanie Grisham, former Trump press secretary, stated in her book about the administration that Trump had a colonoscopy performed without any anesthesia. Grisham said that Trump did not want to give power to Vice President Mike Pence, even for a brief time, as it would have been’showing weakness.

Dr. Ronny Jackson, now a Republican House member in Congress, praised Donald Trump's health after Trump's first physical as president, which happened in January 2018, a year after Trump was sworn in

Ronny Jackson (Republican House member in Congress) praised Donald Trump’s physical after Trump received his first physical in January 2018, one year after he was elected president.

Joe and Jill Biden stay physically active - above they ride their bikes through Cape Henlopen State Park in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, in September 2019

Joe and Jill Biden stay physically active – above they ride their bikes through Cape Henlopen State Park in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, in September 2019

In March, Biden stumbled three times while climbing the stairs to board Air Force One, which his staff blamed on the windy day

Biden suffered three stumbles while trying to climb the stairs for Air Force One in March. Staff blamed windy conditions.

Jackson said that Trump speaks his mind often, but Jackson did not believe there was any reason to doubt his thinking process.  

Biden hasn’t helped questions about his health with his tendency toward gaffes – an afflication that has plagued him on and off throughout his more than 40 years in politics. 

He used to refer to his vice-president as “President Kamala Harir” in his initial months of office. The White House staff had to correct comments that he made about Taiwan’s situation. 

Biden fell on three occasions while trying to climb the stairs for Air Force One in March. Staff blamed windy conditions. 

President Biden is active physically – First Lady Jill Biden rides a bike when they visit their Rehoboth Beach vacation home, Del.; and when he visits Wilmington, he goes to the nearby country club. 

Earlier this week, Harris hit back at claims she is being misused as vice president, saying she doesn’t feel like she’s being under utilized by President Biden and his team. 

‘No. She said, “No. “I’m very happy with the progress we have made, but it’s clear to me that there’s still a lot to be done and that I’m determined to make that happen.

She rattled off a list of her accomplishments, including the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, her recent trip to France, her work with members of Congress and her presiding over the Senate as she defended her job as vice president. 

Harris interview took place amid chaotic reports in Harris’ office, frustration among West Wing staff, and chaos between Harris and her vice president. 

Her strong relationships with Biden were also highlighted. She dismissed Biden’s low approval ratings, which dropped to 28% in an earlier USA TODAY/Suffolk University survey of registered voters.

Harris said, “Polls, their go up, and they go back down”. But I think it is important that we are consistent about what we should do in order to address the current issues.

Biden also stated that she had not talked to her about 2024’s presidential race.

Stephanopoulos asked her if Biden said he’d seek another term. 

Kamala Harris hit back at claims she is being under used as vice president in an interview with ABC News

In an interview with ABC News, Kamala Harris rebutted against claims that she was being used to be vice president

In the interview with ABC News, Vice President Harris stressed her strong relationship with President Joe Biden - the two are seen above Monday at the signing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill

Interview with ABC News: Vice President Harris speaks out about her close relationship with President Joe Biden. They are seen together Monday as they sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill. 

The White House has gone full throat with their defense of her after a CNN report claimed Biden was distancing himself from Harris because of her sliding poll numbers while the vice president felt isolated and frustrated with being given some of the most difficult issues for the administration in her portfolio. 

Und noch mehr: This is a worrying sign for Democrats. Biden’s popularity rating fell to 36% in the latest poll. The majority of voters stated that they would like to see Republicans control Congress.

The new numbers – from a Quinnipiac University Poll – indicate a level of frustration among voters with the party in power as the country prepares for next year’s midterm election.

Harris and Biden displayed a lot of strength at Monday’s signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure bill. They walked together onto the South Lawn and shared hugs.  

Meanwhile, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tweeted Harris is an ‘incredible leader’ and White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued Harris receives more criticism because of her status as a woman of color. Harris is also the first woman and first black vice-president of the United States. 

He has stated publicly that he will run again. There has also been some anonymous talk among Democrats suggesting that Harris should be replaced if he runs again. Another speculation is that Harris might not be the best candidate to succeed him if Harris doesn’t run again. Many have suggested that Pete Buttigieg, Transportation Secretary, would make a more qualified candidate.

Biden, however, did not name either Harris or Buttigieg as the person in charge of implementing his infrastructure plan and watching where the dollars go – a role he noted he played for Barack Obama in 2009 for stimulus money distribution. Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was named.

Stephanopoulos did ask Harris about her 2024 plans, but she didn’t answer. She had to be pressed again on this issue. 

Harris started her reply by listing what she did Wednesday, the day of the interview. This included attending the meetings and beginning the day at the daily briefing with Biden. 

Stephanopoulos questioned her about it again and she stated that they had never discussed the matter. 

Harris also stood by her research on root causes of migration. Republicans are pounding Harris and her administration about the number of migrants who cross the Southern border. 

It won’t happen overnight. She said that we can’t flip a switch to make things better.  

Senior Biden advisers tried to deflect criticism from the CNN article on Sunday night. Background information was gathered from more than three dozen sources and suggested that Harris, who won 28 percent of her support in a poll, had given up on Biden. 

Harris’ aides privately complain about her failure to succeed and a portfolio she was given that does not reflect her historical status of being the first female and first person of color to be elected vice president. 

A former Harris adviser said that Harris is sending Harris consistently to her in order for her to lose issues and put her skills into the wrong situation.

Aides also complained that on issues she was given control of, such as voting rights and the border crisis, she does not have the White House support to carry out her plans. 

However, they claim the president is more determined in protecting Buttigieg. 

Biden’s staff also privately disapprove of Harris’ self-inflicted controversies. For example, her ‘awkward laughter’ when she was asked by Lester Holt about crossing the border.

President Biden and Vice President Harris hugged it out at Monday's infrastructure bill signing

At Monday’s signing of the infrastructure bill, President Biden and Vice-President Harris hugged each other. 

Psaki stated Wednesday night that Harris was judged at a lower standard because she is a woman, and also a woman of colour. She lashed out at Republican critics.

Psaki stated that she believes the struggle has been harder and more harsher for right-wingers who are after her as she is the first women, the first female of color. 

Psaki claimed that although it might never be publically acknowledged, there’s “no doubt” that Harris was the victim of attacks because she has been attacked many times before.   

“It’s quite a burden to bear,” Psaki stated, noting that Harris would like to be seen as the talented and experienced expert, substantive political person, and partner of the president’ she really is. Instead, some attacks have been referred to her identity.