Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday morning, despite recklessly sowing past doubt regarding the Trump administration work surrounding the vaccine development in the run-up to the election.
“That was easy!” Harris said after getting the inoculation live on television. “Thank you. I just barely felt it. I barely felt it.”
“I look forward to getting the second vaccine. Literally, this is about saving lives. I trust the scientists, and it is the scientists who created and approved the vaccine,” she continued.
In remarks to reporters after receiving the vaccine, Harris told reporters that she “trust the scientists,” who “created and approved the vaccine,” a remark she reiteration numerous times during the campaign.
Harris received a dose of the Moderna vaccine from a clinical nurse at United Medical Center in Southeast D.C., an area of the nation’s capital that is home to a large proportion of the city’s African American residents.
Asked by a reporter whether she received her vaccine in an urban community health clinic that predominantly serves the low income and Black neighborhoods of D.C. border line Maryland by design in order to “dispel fears and mistrust in the minority community,” Harris stated she did so to remind the public they have a “trusted sources of health” where they can go to receive the vaccine when it becomes widely available.
“Right in your community is where you can take the vaccine,” Harris replied. “I’m in Anacostia today because, first of all, we have phenomenal healthcare providers like nurse Patricia, who serve our community and we have hospitals and medical centers and clinics like this all over the country who are staffed by people who understand the community, who often come from the community, and who administer all year trusted healthcare.”
Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, also received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday, she said.
Harris’ vaccination comes a little over a week after President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine live on television. According to Biden transition spokeswoman Jen Psaki, due to security and medical protocols, Biden and Harris receive their vaccine doses staggered in case either or experiences any side effects.
Now that Biden and Harris apparently won the election and two vaccine companies were green-lit for its distribution, both Democrats are now eager to assure Americans the vaccine is safe and effective. In being the very “first in line” ahead of frontline workers and elderly vulnerable group members to receive the inoculation, it was not too long ago Harris planted the seeds in expressing doubts with her “‘anti-vaccine rhetoric” and the media has refused to call her out for the damage that spurred.
During an interview with CNN in September, Harris said she would refuse to get a vaccine if Trump recommended for her to get it, adding that she also isn’t confident in the final word from health officials and claiming they would be “muzzled.”
“If past is prologue they will not. They’ll be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed. They will be sidelined because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days. And he’s grasping for whatever he can get to pretend that he has been a leader on this issue when he is not,” Harris said.
“I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump, and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about,” she added.
In denouncing the plans to take the rapid vaccine because the development was launched under Trump, Harris contributed to the fear-mongering by being a leader of anti-vaxers instead of influencing Americans to beat the virus. Her reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric sowed more district when a Pew Research poll from late September showed that about half of US adults (51 percent) wouldn’t get a COVID-19 vaccine if it was available today — a big drop from the 72 percent who said they’d get one back in May. While vaccine skepticism was still higher among Republicans, there was a marked increase among Democrats. In May, 50 percent said they would “definitely” get the vaccine. By September, it had fallen to 24 percent.
A month later, during the Vice Presidential Debate in October, Harris raised doubts about whether she herself would take a vaccine.
“If public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely,” she said. “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.”
Vice President Mike Pence’s slammed Harris for “undermining public confidence in a vaccine,” calling her remarks “unconscionable.”
Harris spent months bashing the vaccine development, giving credence to liberal conspiracy theories but knowing her claims only stoked fear that the media refused to call her out on. The California Senator casting cynicism of the vaccine safety and effectiveness by suggesting the public health scientists she is looking for approval aren’t trustworthy because they work for the Trump Administration.
Kamala knows as a career serving politician that Trump can’t get the FDA to approve a useless or dangerous vaccine. For one thing, the standards and guidelines for the FDA in judging the efficacy and safety of vaccines have already been set, without Trump’s input. The FDA issued tougher guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine developers in October, informing pharmaceutical companies before submitting an emergency-approval application they should monitor trial participants for a minimum of two months after their final dose in phase-three clinical trials.
Thanks to Harris flirting with anti-vaccine views and savaged the Trump administration’s greatest miracles in the history of modern-day medicine, public skepticism about the vaccine has doubled in polling, making it difficult to distribute the vaccine to millions of Americans in a matter of months.
One of the most important roles of both the President and Vice President is to reassure the American public and to ensure their safety in the best way possible. Harris’s anti-vaccine statements are a failure on both fronts.
Earlier this month, Harris confirmed that she would take the vaccine once approved by the Food and Drug Administration and made available to the public. However, Harris echoed her anti-vaccine doubts she made during the VP debate, expressing that she would only take it if Dr. Fauci approves that the vaccine is safe.
Today I got the COVID-19 vaccine. I am incredibly grateful to our frontline health care workers, scientists, and researchers who made this moment possible.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 29, 2020
When you’re able to take the vaccine, get it. This is about saving lives. pic.twitter.com/T5G14LtFJs
A string of politicians and public officials have been vaccinated live on cameras as part of efforts to overcome public skepticism and convince those in doubt that the immunizations are vital to returning to a semblance of normality in the months ahead.