Biden and Harris
Biden and Harris Reuters

US President Joe Biden on Friday temporarily transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris while he was under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy for one hour and 25 minutes, the White House said.

A such Harris, who is the first female, first Black and first South Asian Vice President, broke yet another barrier when she temporarily stepped into the acting role.

Harris worked from her office in the West Wing while Biden was under anesthesia, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

"@POTUS spoke with @VP and @WHCOS at approximately 11:35am this morning. @POTUS was in good spirits and at that time resumed his duties. He will remain at Walter Reed as he completes the rest of his routine physical," Psaki tweeted.

Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, arrived on Friday morning at Walter Reed Medical Center to undergo his first routine annual physical since taking office.

It is routine for a vice president to assume presidential powers while the president undergoes a medical procedure that requires anesthesia. Then-Vice President Dick Cheney did so on multiple occasions when then-President George W. Bush underwent routine colonoscopies.

To officially transfer the presidential powers to Harris, Biden sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the president pro tempore of the Senate, at 10:10 a.m. ET before going under anesthesia.

In order to transfer the powers back to Biden, a separate letter was sent after the procedure.

Biden is the oldest first-term president in US history. CNN noted that the last comprehensive update on Biden's medical history came nearly two years ago when his presidential campaign released a three-page summary of his medical history in December 2019.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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