Vice President Kamala Harris appeared to fumble a pointed question about the administration’s COVID-19 response during an interview Wednesday with NBC News.
“At what point does the administration say ‘you know what, this strategy isn’t working. We’re going to change strategies.’ Six former administration officials last week wrote that open letter, urging the administration to change course, to change strategy. Is it time?” NBC’s Craig Melvin asked the vice president.
— Lawrence Jones III (@LawrenceBJones3) January 13, 2022
“It is time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is everyday,” Harris responded. “Everyday it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down. And so right now we know we still have a number of people, that is in the millions of Americans, that have not been vaccinated and could be vaccinated and we are urging them to get vaccinated because it will save their life.”
“But at what point does the administration acknowledge these people aren’t going to get the shot. They’re just not going to do it,” Melvin pressed.
“I don’t believe in giving up on people, Craig,” Harris responded. “I really don’t.”
Melvin also asked when the administration plans to send out millions of tests amid a testing shortage, to which Harris said she believes it would happen soon, possibly next week, but would need to check. (RELATED: White House Chief Of Staff Ron Klain Criticized Testing Shortage In 2020, But Now The Biden Admin Faces Its Own Crisis)
President Joe Biden deflected blame for the rapid testing shortage in December, claiming it was not the administration’s fault because the Omicron strain was too unexpected to prepare for. Vanity Fair reported that the administration dismissed an October proposal that would have provided rapid, at-home tests in anticipation of the holidays
Melvin asked Harris why, one year into the Biden administration, the nation is seeing record case surges.
Harris said the administration is also frustrated with “where we are,” but that it’s a “mistake” to believe the nation has not made progress, comparing the current situation to that of March 2020, when the virus first hit the nation.