The traditional role of a vice president is to serve as a supportive backstop to the president and their agenda, and to absolutely refrain from saying anything that would challenge their boss or undermine the American public’s faith in the capabilities of their top elected leader.
Vice President Kamala Harris failed in that duty during a recent interview with remarks about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that called into question the manner in which President Joe Biden has handled that issue, Fox News reported.
Harris seemed to imply that the administration had been caught flat-footed and unaware of the delta and omicron variants of COVID-19, and also appeared to counter Biden’s likely premature declaration of “independence” from the viral contagion in a July speech.
“We didn’t see” the variants
It was during an interview with the Los Angeles Times published Friday that Vice President Harris offered up the excuse of a lack of foresight and cast blame upon “misinformation” and the unvaccinated to explain away the still-raging pandemic that President Biden had repeatedly vowed to immediately bring under control.
“We didn’t see Delta coming. I think most scientists did not — upon whose advice and direction we have relied — didn’t see Delta coming,” Harris said in reference to the COVID-19 variant that swept across much of the country during the summer and fall months.
“We didn’t see Omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this, this awful virus has been, which as it turns out, has mutations and variants,” she added in reference to the latest variant to become widespread in America.
“We have not been victorious”
As for Biden’s July 4 White House speech in which he declared “Independence from COVID-19,” Harris sought to recast what had been said and meant by the president in those arguably overly optimistic remarks.
To be sure, Biden himself had acknowledged that the virus had “not been vanquished” completely in that speech, but the overarching message was nonetheless clear and unmistakable — the worst was behind us and (vaccinated) Americans could get back to life as normal.
“We have not been victorious over it,” Harris admitted to the Times. “I don’t think that in any regard anyone can claim victory when, you know, there are 800,000 people who are dead because of this virus.”
The blame game
The apparent reason for the lack of an actual victory over COVID-19, at least in Harris’ view, was “misinformation” spread by others and the portion of the country that remained unvaccinated — in spite of all of the cajoling, coercion, and even threats that have been issued to force compliance regarding COVID-19 vaccinations.
“I would take that more seriously,” Harris said with regard to misinformation. “The biggest threat still to the American people is the threat to the unvaccinated. And most people who believe in the efficacy of the vaccine and the seriousness of the virus have been vaccinated. That troubles me deeply.”
Rather surprisingly, Harris also passed on the opportunity to play the gender and race cards, as she so often does, when it was served to her on a platter by the Times in the form of a question about why she has received so much criticism as vice president, choosing instead to demure and say, “I’ll leave that to other people to evaluate.”