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Biden news: President pardons Thanksgiving turkey after colonoscopy put Kamala Harris in charge

Biden juggled a turkey pardoning alongside news of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict on Friday

Graig Graziosi
Friday 19 November 2021 22:06

Related video: President Joe Biden visits GM’s Factory ZERO plant in Detroit

Joe Biden underwent a “routine colonoscopy” today, during which time Vice President Kamala Harris served as acting President of the United States. Later in the day he pardoned a pair of turkeys named Peanut Butter and Jelly, continuing a longstanding presidential tradition in the days before Thanksgiving.

Jen Psaki said Mr Biden’s health records would be released on Friday and noted that he was in good health an hour after his procedure.

Mr Biden transferred power to Ms Harris as he was anesthetised during the procedure. As a result, Ms Harris became the first woman to hold US presidential powers. Mr Biden resumed his role as president around 11:35am EST.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki spoke to reporters about Mr Biden’s hospital visit, noting that it was not an emergency and that it was not the first time a president had undergone the procedure.

“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,” Ms Psaki said. “The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”


Welcome to the liveblog

Join The Independent for updates on Joe Biden’s condition as he undergoes a “routine” medical procedure. Because he will be anesthetised, Mr Biden is transferring power to Vice President Kamala Harris for the duration of his procedure.

Graig Graziosi19 November 2021 15:01

Biden to be treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre

Joe Biden will undergo a “routine colonoscopy” today at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.

The Walter Reed hospital has long been the hospital of choice for sitting US presidents. Last year, former President Donald Trump spent three days in the care of Walter Reed staff as he suffered through a bout of Covid-19.

The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander has more on the historic transfer of power below...

Kamala Harris to be acting president as Joe Biden undergoes medical procedure

Vice President Kamala Harris will serve as acting president while President Joe Biden is under anaesthesia for a routine colonoscopy, the White House has said.

Graig Graziosi19 November 2021 15:10

Biden releases statement on Build Back Better vote

Joe Biden released a statement today once again promoting his “Build Back Better” after its passage in the House, calling it a “giant step forward” and key to “carrying out my economic plan to create jobs, reduce costs, make our country more competitive, and give working people and the middle class a fighting chance.”

“The Build Back Better Act is fiscally responsible. It reduces the deficit over the long-term. It’s fully paid for by making sure that the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share in federal taxes. It keeps my commitment that no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in federal taxes.,” Mr Biden wrote. “Leading economists and independent experts on Wall Street have confirmed that it will not add to inflationary pressures. Instead, it will boost the capacity of our economy and reduce costs for millions of families.”

His statement included an overview of what the plan does for Americans, highlighting lower drug prices, child and senior care, family and middle class tax cuts, and childhood educational benefits granted by the program.

Graig Graziosi19 November 2021 15:29

Kamala Harris makes history when she briefly assumes powers of presidency during Biden procedure

Even though it is only on a technicality, Vice President Kamala Harris will make history today when she briefly steps in to serve as President of the United States while Joe Biden is under anesthesia. After Mr Biden transfers power to Ms Harris, she will become the first woman to serve as a US president.

The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg has more on the power transfer in his story below...

Harris makes history when she assumes powers of presidency during Biden procedure

Ms Harris is the first woman to exercise the powers of the presidency under the 25th amendment

Graig Graziosi19 November 2021 15:40

Trump also reportedly underwent a colonoscopy while in office

Earlier this year, former President Donald Trump’s former press secretary Stephanie Grisham alleged that when Mr Trump went for an unexplained medical procedure at Walter Reed medical centre, it was for a colonoscopy. But Ms Grisham wrote in her book that Mr Trump did not want it disclosed because he did not want to be “the butt of a joke” for late-night comedians.

Ms Grisham also wrote that the president refused anesthesia because he did not want to hand power over to Vice President Mike Pence.

Eric Garcia19 November 2021 16:07

Biden White House will release president’s medical records following his annual physical as Republicans question his health and cognition

White House officials have promised that they will release results of the annual physical which President Biden is currently undergoing at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda Maryland, but no bill of health may be clean enough for some of his Republican critics.

Mr Biden, whose campaign released a set of medical records during the 2020 election, is the oldest person to ever serve as president, and Republicans have used his age and occasional verbal slip-ups to suggest that he is unfit to serve.Earlier this month, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley suggested that Mr Biden needs a “cognitive test”.

“Let’s face it, we’ve got a lot of people in leadership positions that are old. And that’s not being disrespectful. That’s a fact,” she said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. Ms Haley later suggested that Mr Biden “is not totally in charge” of the country.

Accusations of cognitive problems dogged Mr Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, throughout his four tumultuous years in office. They persisted even after his then-physician, Dr Ronny Jackson, revealed that Mr Trump had passed a test known as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which is meant to detect Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Dr Jackson, now a Republican member of Congress from Texas, has suggested that there is “something serious going on” with Mr Biden’s health and predicted that he would either resign of his own accord or be forced to.

Andrew Feinberg19 November 2021 16:27

Biden resumes duties as president following doctor visit

Joe Biden is back in control of the country after briefly transferring his presidential powers to Vice President Kamala Harris. Mr Biden was attending a physical that included a colonoscopy. Because the procedure required the use of anesthesia, he transferred his presidential powers to Ms Harris.

According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Mr Biden spoke with Ms Harris at 11:35am, just after his procedure, and resumed his duties.

Graig Graziosi19 November 2021 17:17

Watch Jen Psaki’s White House briefing live

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is holding a briefing today and will likely discuss Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda passing through the House as well as the president’s physical exam at Walter Reed hospital.

To watch Ms Psaki’s press conference, check out the video below.

Watch live as press secretary Jen Psaki holds White House briefing
Graig Graziosi19 November 2021 17:37

National Thanksgiving Turkey candidates Peanut Butter and Jelly can rest assured that their forthcoming executive clemency will not be affected by President Joe Biden’s colonoscopy.

A White House official tells The Independent that the annual granting of a presidential pardon to one of birds is still on Mr Biden’s schedule once he returns from Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, where he underwent a physical examination and was briefly anesthetized for colonoscopy on Friday.

The Jasper, Indiana-based pair, who would otherwise be condemned to be executed for the capitol crime of being a turkey during Thanksgiving season, will both be spared from the giblet gibbet after Friday’s ceremony, though only one will receive an official full and unconditional pardon.

Andrew Feinberg19 November 2021 17:50

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says “comprehensive” report from Biden’s physical to be released today

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the administration would release a “comprehensive” report detailing Joe Biden’s state of health following his physical this morning.

Mr Biden’s visit included a colonoscopy, which required him to be put under anesthesia. As a result, Mr Biden transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris. About an hour later Mr Biden resumed his duties as president.

“We will have a comprehensive written summary that will be released to all of you later today. As soon as it’s finalized. I’m not going to get ahead of that it’s of course done by medical experts which as is appropriate for this afternoon, as I noted in a tweet,” Ms Psaki said.

“Earlier this morning, the President had a conversation with the Vice President, as well as Chief of Staff run clean at around 1135. This morning, he was in good spirits. He resumed his duties as president at that point in time there was also two sets of letters that we released publicly around one was at 10:10am, about the transfer of power under the 25th Amendment and the resumption of power. So that that’s a reflection of how he is and how he is feeling,” she said.

Graig Graziosi19 November 2021 17:57

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