Nov. 19, 2021 — President Joe Biden is in “good spirits” following his trip to Walter Reed hospital today for his first annual physical exam and routine colonoscopy as commander-in-chief, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure where doctors examine your large intestine (colon) and your rectum.
A flexible tube with a small camera at the tip is inserted inside your rectum, so that doctors can check for signs of colon cancer, bleeding, or any other abnormalities.
Because Biden went under anesthesia — a treatment that makes you sleepy and prevents you from feeling pain — he temporarily transferred presidential power to Vice President Kamala Harris, making her the first woman in U.S. history to serve as acting president, though only for around 90 minutes.
The 25th amendment to theConstitution allows for this transfer of power when a president is unable to fulfill their duties. These powers are then shifted to the vice president, until the president documents in writing that he can, once again, fully resume his role.
Biden, who turns 79 tomorrow, is the oldest president in U.S. history.
His health has been a hot topic of conversation since he announced he was running for office.
In 2019, Kevin O’Connor, DO, the White House physician and Biden’s personal doctor for over a decade, released a document with details on Biden’s health.
The report said that Biden had been taking the drug Eliquis to help prevent blood clots, Crestor to lower his triglycerides and cholesterol, Nexium for acid reflux, Allegra for allergies, and a nasal spray.
The document also stated that the president had been receiving treatment for atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat.
But O’Conner said overall, then-presidential candidate Biden was “a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.”
Biden has had serious health scares in the past, including a brain aneurysm when he served as a U.S. senator in 1988.
Other procedures in Biden’s medical history include gall bladder removal in 2003, various surgeries for bone injuries, and the removal on nonmelanoma skin cancers.
Biden is still scheduled to attend the annual White House turkey pardoning ceremony in the Rose Garden today.