Vice President Kamala Harris hasn’t done a very good job dealing with a worsening migration crisis at the U.S.–Mexico border, but that isn’t stopping her from moving on to the next thing.
Harris will travel to Vietnam and Singapore next month to shore up support for U.S. efforts to combat China’s economic ascendancy, her office told Fox News.
She will be the first sitting U.S. vice president to visit Vietnam, which would be great — if she were actually good at her job.
It will be her second overseas trip since taking office with President Joe Biden; Harris also visited Honduras and Guatemala as part of her border duties, but was met with protests and accusations that former President Donald Trump really won the election.
Harris will try to “strengthen relationships”
The idea behind the trip is to “strengthen relationships and expand economic support,” Harris’ chief spokeswoman, Symone Sanders, told Fox in a statement.
Harris plans to discuss security in the region, climate change, COVID-19, and “our joint effort to promote a rules-based international order,” Sanders added.
Vietnam had mostly escaped the pandemic until recent weeks, when cases there have soared. Ho Chi Minh City and 18 other cities and provinces in the country’s southern region just extended lockdowns there for “another two weeks,” Reuters reports, in an effort to contain the outbreak.
It is now trying to ramp up its vaccinations in the country, relying on China’s sketchy Sinopharm vaccine along with AstraZeneca.
A redundant trip?
Harris’ trip will follow up meetings in Vietnam between the two countries’ defense heads that also included the top leadership. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with newly elected Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and National Defense Minister Phan Van Giang on Thursday to discuss COVID-19 aid to the country and start a new program to find and identify war dead there, the Defense Department said.
The U.S. is providing aid to Vietnam in the form of vaccines and equipment.
“We are also proud to have donated five million doses of Moderna vaccines to Vietnam,” Austin said during his talks at the prime minister’s office. “I look forward to discussing additional ways that the United States can support Vietnam’s response.”
It seems like maybe the Biden administration needed to send Harris somewhere safe, but it’s hard to imagine she won’t find a way to mess things up anyway. Meanwhile, the situation at the border isn’t getting any better.