US Vice President Kamala Harris was temporarily made the commander-in-chief on Friday 19 November 2021.
US Vice President Kamala Harris was given presidential powers for a “brief period of time”, taking over from Joe Biden.
Jen Psaki, press secretary at the White House, made the announcement that President Biden was temporarily handing over the reins to Harris.
Harris’ time in the role only last around an hour - but why was she given the responsibility in the first place?
Why was Kamala Harris temporarily US President?
Psaki said that Biden, 78, had been given a routine colonoscopy at Walter Reed Medical Centre in Maryland.
During the procedure, Biden had been placed under anaesthesia.
The 25th amendment to the US constitution states that “in case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.”
With Biden under anaesthesia and unable to carry out his duties, Harris, his Vice President, was granted the powers of the commander-in-chief.
Have any other Vice Presidents been given temporary presidential powers?
Harris is not the first Vice President to take over duties in the highest seat in America.
Former president George W Bush underwent the same procedure in 2002 and 2007, with powers being transferred over to Vice President Dick Cheney.
It had been previously reported that President Trump had went through a similar procedure, however this information was not made public and therefore Mike Pence did not take the place of the president during this time.
Harris’ historical appointment
Harris has also made history with her temporary appointment.
Not only is she the first ever female Vice president to have the powers bestowed on her as a result of Section 3 of the 25th Amendment, but during her one-hour stint in the role, Harris became the first ever female US president.
When will Joe Biden take over the presidency again?
Biden only transferred power while under anesthesia and being unable to execute his role.
As a result, Harris held the role of US President for only one-hour, while Biden recovered from the procedure.
Shortly after the procedure, Psaki tweeted: [email protected] 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.”
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