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.