Donald Trump was the butt of countless jokes while he was president, but he was paranoid about jokes about his butt. In her book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham alleges that Trump refused to go under anesthesia while getting a colonoscopy because doing so would have transferred power, however briefly, to Vice President Mike Pence:
Grisham’s book states that Trump made the decision to keep his visit under wraps because, she suspects, he didn’t want to be the “butt of the joke” on late night television. The book also states her belief that he avoided anesthesia for the painful and invasive procedure because he didn’t want Vice President Mike Pence to take over temporarily as commander-in-chief and loathed showing any kind of weakness.
Like Trump in 2019, President Joe Biden is getting a colonoscopy; unlike Trump, he will go under anesthesia for the routine procedure this morning, meaning Kamala Harris will temporarily become the first female president of the United States. (Woodrow Wilson’s wife, Edith, essentially ran the country after he suffered a stroke, but she was never officially president.) I’m sure the angriest people on Twitter won’t have anything to say about this.
.@VP Kamala Harris will briefly become the first woman President of the United States today, as President Joe Biden received a routine colonoscopy under anesthesia.
“The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time,” WH press sec Jen Psaki wrote.
— Jasmine Wright (@JasJWright) November 19, 2021
“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,” press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “The Vice President will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”
A summary of the president’s physical will be released later in the afternoon.