Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Tuesday in front of television cameras received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. On the same day, she was called out by conservatives for her past statement from the vice presidential debate in which she said she would not take a vaccine recommended by President Donald Trump.
Harris, alongside her husband Doug Emhoff, both received vaccine doses at the United Medical Center in Washington, DC, coming after President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President Mike Pence, and members of Congress began to get the Pfizer vaccine last week as part of a continuity of government plan.
On the other hand, a growing list of politicians and public figures have stated they will not receive the vaccine before the elderly do and have called out their colleagues who on the younger side for having gotten the vaccine.
“It’s now clear that we don’t have enough vaccines for everyone and there is shortage of supply, we have to prioritize those who need it most,” Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted December 20. “That’s why it’s disturbing to see members be 1st to get vaccine while most frontline workers, elderly and infirm in our districts, wait.”
After getting her injection, Harris said “I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine.”
“It is relatively painless, it happens really quickly, it is safe,” she added.
“Literally, this is about saving lives. It’s literally about saving lives,” the vice president-elect continued. “I trust the scientists and it is the scientists who created and approved this vaccine so I urge everyone, when it is your turn, get vaccinated.”
On the same day of Harris’s vaccination, conservatives across Twitter brought up a previous statement of hers from the October vice presidential debate when she said that she would not take a vaccine if President Trump recommended it.
“If Dr. Fauci, the doctors, tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it,” Harris said during the debate. “But if Donald Trump tells us we should take it, I’m not going to take it.”
Vice President Mike Pence then criticized Harris for her response, saying the California senator was undermining confidence in a vaccine the Trump administration had claimed would soon be ready for distribution to the public.
“I just ask you to stop playing politics with people’s lives,” Pence said. “The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if a vaccine emerges in the Trump administration, is unconscionable.”
Prior to the debate, Harris had expressed her skepticism toward a potential vaccine.
Here is some of the criticism toward Harris’s vaccination:
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.
But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.
Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19
The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.
Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China
The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”
Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World
The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”
In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.
While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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