For the first time in U.S. history, a woman will hold presidential powers, albeit for a short time.
According to CBS News correspondent David Begnaud, President Joe Biden will undergo a colonoscopy on Friday.
Because he will be under anesthesia, Biden will transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris.
Vice President Harris will become the 1st woman in U.S. history to have presidential powers when she becomes the “acting president”, for a short period today, while President Joe Biden undergoes a colonoscopy. Because he’ll be under anesthesia, he’ll transfer power to the VP.
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) November 19, 2021
The move comes at a tumultuous time for Harris, as her approval ratings tank and reports continue to emerge about growing discontent with her within the Biden administration.
CNN reported this week that administration officials are frustrated with the “entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus” in Harris’ office.
“Harris is struggling with a rocky relationship with some parts of the White House, while long-time supporters feel abandoned and see no coherent public sense of what she’s done or been trying to do as vice president,” the outlet reported.
CNN even mentioned a rumor that Biden could replace Harris as vice president by nominating her to a vacant Supreme Court seat.
Officials have insisted that Harris and Biden are working well together despite the reports. White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended Harris in a Monday tweet.
“For anyone who needs to hear it. [Harris] is not only a vital partner to [Biden] 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,” she wrote.
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.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) November 15, 2021
Nonetheless, more warning signs arose just a few days later. On Thursday, Harris’ communications director, Ashley Etienne, resigned from her position effective next month, Fox News reported.
Psaki said Biden’s medical procedure is the same one former President George W. Bush underwent in 2002 and 2007, ABC News reported. She said Bush also transferred power to his vice president “following the process set out in the Constitution.”
Harris will work from her office in the West Wing of the White House when she is granted presidential powers on Friday.
ABC reported that Biden has not released a public physical since his campaign did so in 2019.
That report described him as “a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.”
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