News & Politics

Kamala Harris Becomes First Female (Acting) President of the United States

Biden is briefly transferring power during a colonoscopy.

Photograph by Flickr user Gage Skidmore.

Kamala Harris will be the first female president of the United States while Joe Biden undergoes a colonoscopy this morning. Well, kinda: According to the White House, the president will temporarily transfer power to the VP during his procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, making her the acting president. Harris’s term will be extremely short—just the length of Biden’s time under anesthesia. The president arrived at the hospital this morning for his routine physical, a day before his 79th birthday.

This isn’t the first time a president has transferred power in this manner. George H.W. Bush and Dick Cheney both took control under similar circumstances while they served as vice president. Meanwhile, Donald Trump seems likely to have hushed up his own colonoscopy two years ago and didn’t transfer power to Mike Pence while he was under.

A female president is long overdue, of course, although it would be nice if it were happening for a less, um, crappy reason.


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Daniella Byck
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.