Why did Kamala Harris become the first president of the United States for 85 minutes

Brief transfer of power
Why did Kamala Harris become the first female president of the United States for 85 minutes

For 85 minutes, Kamala Harris was in charge of American official business

© White House / / Picture Alliance

No woman has ever been seen presiding over the United States of America before. Yesterday was the time: Vice President Kamala Harris became head of state for less than an hour and a half. However, only temporarily.

As much as the United States has shaped Western culture time and time again, the USA lags behind many of its allies on one point: While Germany’s Angela Merkel waits to leave office after 17 years, its oldest modern democracy has not yet had a woman on their end. Now Kamala Harris was the first to take the reins – and temporarily became the first president of the United States.

The historic event came about because of a routine checkup: President Joe Biden had a colon cancer test on Friday and had to be sedated for a colonoscopy. While he was on the operating table, the vice president temporarily took over and for a short time became the most powerful woman in the world. After that, the “cheerful” president took office again while more routine investigations took place, the White House reported on Twitter.

Transfer of power as a routine procedure

In a letter to Congress, Biden announced provisional extradition: “Pursuant to Article 3 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution, I hereby inform you that I cannot exercise the powers and duties of office as President of the United States and I delegate those powers and duties.” The constitutional amendment provides that the presidency can be transferred temporarily in the event that it cannot be assumed.

It is not uncommon for this to happen. George W. Bush, Biden’s predecessor, had moved his office several times to Vice President Dick Cheney to undergo colonoscopy like Biden. Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump reportedly didn’t like it: in her book I’ll Take Your Questions Now, his former spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham suggested that the then-president kept the hospital visit secret so as not to transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence.

Kamala Harris' husband

A milestone for Kamala Harris

For Kamala Harris, it was another milestone in her career. When she took office in January, she was the first woman to hold the position of Vice President of the United States, and she was also the first person of African-American and Asian descent to hold the position. With Joe Biden, now 79, also the oldest US president ever, many expect she could replace him rather than seek re-election in 2024.

Resources:US governmentAnd CNN

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