VP Kamala Harris: There’s a big difference between vaccines and vaccinations

 This evening, Vice President Harris’ met for a listening session with Black Mayors.

VP Harris and Jeff Zients are positioned on opposite sides of the stage, facing a large screen where the mayors and Dr. Nunez-Smith are streaming into the auditorium. Except for the pool, the seats are (obviously) empty. At their respective corners of the platform, the VP and Zients are seated each in gray chairs, propped up by navy throw pillows, at small white tables (on which they have open binders) next to smaller wooden side tables and standing American flags. 
 
The VP listened intently, blue pen in hand, as Newport News, VA Mayor McKinley Price, Dr. Nunez-Smith, and then Zients spoke.  
 
In her remarks, which went on for just over ten minutes, the VP first stressed a familiar point for the administration: the difference between equality and equity.
 
“Equality,” she said, “often assumes that everyone starts out at the same place. When we, as an administration, talk about equity, we understand that, since everyone does not start out at the same place, our focus is to be on making sure that everyone ends up in the same place and creates priorities around that.” 
 
The VP thanked those present for their work, “at this difficult time in our country.” She said, “It has not been easy, and people look in your eyes, each one of you, searching to know that everything’s going to be OK. And you keep getting out of bed every morning to do what is necessary to make sure that things will get better. So, I thank you on behalf of myself and President Joe Biden.” 
 
She noted that this meeting is taking place during Black history month and emphasized that awareness of and appreciation for Black history shouldn’t be confined to a single month of the year. “We’re at February, so we know this is Black history month, although every month, and every day, should be Black history month, recognizing that it is part of America’s history, but certainly we celebrate mayors like you who are keeping our cities going.” 
 
The VP noted that some of the mayors also have full time day jobs in addition to their mayoral roles, which she said is why this meeting is taking place in the evening (“at least on the East coast.”) 
 
“If we are to get on the other side of this pandemic,” she said, “we’re going to have to do it with you.” She noted that the role of a mayor is “boots on the ground” in nature, and that listening to mayors is essential to ensuring that the administration has policies that are “relevant” to Americans experiencing the everyday effects of the pandemic. 
 
She said that during calls, mayors have repeatedly raised four issues: difficulty with vaccine distribution, budget constraints, difficulty navigating the reopening of schools, and local business closures. 
 
“For too long during this pandemic, cities and states have been left hanging,” she said, “and as you know, we’re about three weeks into our administration. But this is a reality: you’ve been left hanging. The pandemic is a national problem and it demands a national solution.” 
 
The VP added, “like the president likes to say: there’s a big difference between vaccines and vaccinations.” 
 
She called the American Rescue Plan, “a very big part of that solution,” which “puts 20 billion dollars toward a national vaccination program. We’ve not had that... a national vaccination program that includes community vaccination centers and mobile vaccination units.” 
 
The VP recounted the events of last Friday. “It was about five o’clock in the morning — and after I went back to the Senate at three in the morning, about two hours later at five in the morning — I cast my first tie breaking vote in the United States Senate, and I was there to cast that vote to help clear the way for the passage of this plan.” 
 
In closing (opening remarks), she said, “We need to move this, we need to move it fast, it needs to be significant enough to actually have an impact. Every day matters on this... we’re in the midst of this hurricane. It is still raging, probably faster than before. The danger here isn’t going too big. It’s going too small and too slow.”
 
Pool exited the auditorium at 6:02 pm.

Comments

Find us at

Twitter RSS Flipboard

Share This Article!

Like this article?

Tags

Kamala Harris

Related stories

Today's schedule at the White House

Today's schedule at the White House

It's a sunny but somewhat chilly Thursday here at the White House. Today's schedule features a 12:45 p.m. press secretary briefing that will include VA Secretary Denis McDonough and a 2 p.m. infrastructure meeting with POTUS,…

Read more trending_flat
At the infrastructure meeting Biden talks  about “American competitiveness"

At the infrastructure meeting Biden talks about “American competitiveness"

Pool was led into the Oval Office at 2:18 p.m. POTUS sat in one chair with the VP in a chair to his right, the transportation secretary to his left and members spaced out in front of them. POTUS spoke briefly saying they were there…

Read more trending_flat
FLOTUS Jill Biden will be touring schools today in Meriden, Connecticut

FLOTUS Jill Biden will be touring schools today in Meriden, Connecticut

Good morning from Washington where it’s sunny and 37 degrees.    The first lady is traveling with Dr. Miguel Cardona, the newly confirmed education secretary, to tour schools in Meriden, Connecticut. — Cardona’s…

Read more trending_flat
Jill Biden and Cardona meet on the Air Force One

Jill Biden and Cardona meet on the Air Force One

FLOTUS emerged from her SUV at 9:34, spoke briefly with a female member of the Air Force, and climbed up the stairs. A 757 wing blocked her entry to the aircraft so we could not see if she waved from where we were holding.    She…

Read more trending_flat
President Biden Set To Travel To Milwaukee For CNN Two Hall

President Biden Set To Travel To Milwaukee For CNN Two Hall

Good morning from the White House where it’s 39 degrees and cloudy.   President Biden will be traveling to Milwaukee later today for a CNN town hall.   The 5:30 pm South Lawn departure is the first pool event on…

Read more trending_flat
Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff meet with the VA Secretary Denis McDonough

Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff meet with the VA Secretary Denis McDonough

Greetings from an iced-over Washington, where it is sleeting, grey and 27 degrees.    Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, made an unscheduled stop on Saturday at Washington DC…

Read more trending_flat

Latest article

Top