The White House has gone into damage control mode when Vice President Kamala Harris appeared to take a dig at President Joe Biden when she revealed that the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19 had caught them off guard.
“The Vice President’s comments referred to the exact kind of mutation,” a Harris advisor said to Fox News Sunday “The administration knew mutations were possible, it [is] the reason we ordered extra tests, extra gear and extra PPE.”
“It is the reason the President, Vice President and our entire administration warned early and often that the best way to get on the other side of the pandemic is to get vaccinated. We were and continue to be prepared,” they said.
Harris took a swipe at the president, her boss, over his declaration of “independence” over the pandemic on July 4, in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.
“While the virus hasn’t been vanquished, we know this: It no longer controls our lives. It no longer paralyzes our nation. And it’s within our power to make sure it never does again,” he said in the speech, but Harris does not agree.
“We have not been victorious over it,” the vice president said.
“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,” she said.
The Omicron variant has now been confirmed in 45 states and there are 830 confirmed cases as of Saturday morning. A revelation that Harris admits they did not see coming as she placed the blame on scientists.
““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,” she said. “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.”
“I get it. I get it. I totally get it,” the vice president said. “I mean, you know, one of the concerns that I have is the undiagnosed and untreated trauma at various degrees that everyone has experienced.”
She said her only regret in how she and the administration have handled the crisis is that they did not take the threat of misinformation as seriously as they should have.
“I would take that more seriously,” she said. “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.”
The interview with The Times comes after another contentious interview she had on Friday.
She appeared on Friday on the Comedy Central show of Charlamagne Tha God, whose real name is Lenard Larry McKelvey, but he did not give her softballs, The New York Post reported.
“I want to know who the real president of this country is — is it Joe Biden, or Joe Manchin?” the host said on his Comedy Central show, “Tha God’s Honest Truth.”
“Come on, Charlamagne,” the vice president said. “Come on. It’s Joe Biden.”
“I can’t tell sometimes,” the host hit back.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no,” the vice president, growing visibly infuriated with the host, said. “It’s Joe Biden, and don’t start talking like a Republican about asking whether or not he’s president. And it’s Joe Biden. And I’m vice president and my name is Kamala Harris.”
At this point Symone Sanders, one of Harris’ aides who has announced her departure from the vice president’s staff, stepped in to end the interview.
“I’m so sorry Charlamagne, it’s Symone, we have to wrap,” she said.
“She can hear me,” the host said, laughing. Sanders responded, “Can you hear me now? I’m sorry but we have to wrap. I’m sorry to interrupt.”
“They’re acting like they can’t hear me, yo,” Charlamagne said, implying that the vice president’s team was faking technical issues.
Harris confirmed that she could hear him and the interview continued.