Joe Biden, 78, will undergo his first routine physical exam as the president of the United States on Friday morning and will temporarily transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris, the White House said.
“This morning, the President will travel to Walter Reed Medical Center for a routine physical. While he is there, the President will undergo a routine colonoscopy,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
“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. The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”
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Biden underwent his last full exam in December 2019 when doctors found him to be “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.”
Dr. Kevin O’Connor, Biden’s primary care physician, had written in 2019 that Biden, who was the presidential candidate then, was in overall good shape. He wrote that since 2003, the president has had episodes of atrial fibrillation, which is a type of irregular heartbeat. O’Connor, however, cited several tests that showed Biden’s heart was functioning normally. The report also said that Biden does not smoke or drink and worked out at least five days per week.
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Biden, who is the oldest US president in history, had pledged before the 2020 elections to be “totally transparent” about all aspects of his health. The White House had said that the results of his eventual checkup would be made public.
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The president is vaccinated against COVID-19 and received a booster shot in September.