Sen. Kamala Harris, after sowing doubt for months about the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine developed under the Trump administration, received her immunization shot on Tuesday.
“Let’s do it, I’m ready,” Harris said, as a clinical nurse manager at United Medical Center in Washington, D.C., prepared to inject the vaccine, CBS News reported.
“That was easy, I barely felt it,” the senator said after receiving the Moderna vaccine shot.
“I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. It is relatively painless. It happens really quickly. It is safe.”
MOMENTS AGO: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris receives the Coronavirus vaccine. pic.twitter.com/PjZPVlQo9O
— The Hill (@thehill) December 29, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence received the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 18. Both require two doses about three weeks apart.
After getting her first dose, Harris tweeted, “When you’re able to take the vaccine, get it. This is about saving lives.”
Today I got the COVID-19 vaccine. I am incredibly grateful to our frontline health care workers, scientists, and researchers who made this moment possible.
When you’re able to take the vaccine, get it. This is about saving lives. pic.twitter.com/T5G14LtFJs
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 29, 2020
That’s quite a change of tone from a CNN interview Harris gave in early September, when she said she would not take President Donald Trump’s word the vaccine was safe and suggested he would pressure scientists to say it was regardless in order to help his re-election efforts.
Asked by CNN’s Dana Bash if she would get a vaccine that was approved before the election, Harris replied, “Well, I think that’s going to be an issue for all of us.”
“I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about,” she added.
Questioned whether she believed public health experts and scientists would get the last word about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, Harris predicted they would not.
“If past is prologue that they will not, they’ll be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined,” she said.
“Because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days and he’s grasping to get whatever he can to pretend he has been a leader on this issue when he is not.”
Did this narrative pushed by Harris and the Democrats delay Pfizer releasing the findings of its clinical trials showing the vaccine to be 95 percent effective until one week after the election?
Or perhaps Trump’s policies aimed at lowering drug prices played a part.
You’ll recall the issue of Harris casting doubt about the vaccine came up during the vice presidential debate in October.
USA Today’s Susan Page, the debate moderator, asked Harris if she would take the vaccine if the Trump administration approved it before the election.
The senator repeated her line that if Trump told her to take it, she would not.
Pence called Harris to task for her words.
Vice President Pence to Sen. Harris at the debate: “The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if a vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable. And Senator, I just ask you: Stop playing politics with people’s lives. ” pic.twitter.com/kbavgeMHRR
— CBS Newspath (@cbsnewspath) October 8, 2020
“The reality is that we’re going to have a vaccine, Senator, in record time, in unheard-of time, in less than a year,” Pence said.
“We have five companies in Phase 3 clinical trials. And we’re right now producing tens of millions of doses,” he continued.
“So, the fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable. And Senator, I just asked you, stop playing politics with people’s lives.”
In a Twitter post Tuesday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel lashed out at the California senator.
Over the summer, Kamala Harris shamefully decided to play politics and undermined confidence in a vaccine.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) December 29, 2020
So the same vaccine Harris cast doubts about a mere couple months ago, she received on Tuesday.
In that context, Harris’ comment — “It happens really quickly. It is safe.” — amounts to a shocking admission that she was playing politics with her statements during the campaign.
Time will tell, but the Trump administration’s operation Warp Speed appears to be the most successful vaccination project in world history.
Harris will be one of the hundreds of millions that will be a beneficiary of Trump’s decisive leadership during this crisis.
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