Sen. Kamala Harris was criticized harshly by Republicans (and even by a few Democrats) for an interview with CNN on Saturday during which she said that she would be very skeptical about any coronavirus vaccine that came from the Trump administration. Asked point blank if she would get the vaccine if it came out before the November election, Harris did her part to sow public doubt about the legitimacy of such a vaccine – a stunning political attack that could easily have damning ramifications on public health, trust in government, and the fight against COVID-19.
“Do you trust that in the situation that we’re in now that public health experts and scientists will get the last word on the efficacy of a vaccine?” asked CNN’s Dana Bash.
“If past is prologue, that they will not, they’ll be muzzled,” Harris said without evidence. “They’ll be suppressed. They will be sidelined because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days and he’s grasping for whatever he can get to pretend that he has been a leader on this issue when has not.”
“So,” Bash asked, “let’s just say there’s a vaccine that is approved and even distributed before the election. Would you get it?”
“Well, I think that’s going to be an issue for all of us,” Harris replied. “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. I will not take his word for it.”
This is just so reckless and irresponsible. Our only chance of getting out of this mess and putting the Kung Flu behind us forever lies in the efficacy and widespread adoption of a quality vaccine. Harris knows damn well that there is a great deal of skepticism about vaccines already out there, and the last thing she should be doing is adding fuel to that fire by tying that skepticism to hatred of the Trump administration.
Here’s a hint, Kamala: Trump himself is not in the lab, cooking this vaccine up. It’s being designed by the same competent, expert scientists who would have worked on it during the Obama years. The same ones who will be working on it in your administration, if you should be so fortunate as to win in November. A little bit of respect is in order.
“Here is Kamala Harris spreading a dangerous conspiracy theory about a potential coronavirus vaccine,” tweeted Trump campaign staffer Jake Schneider.
“This is grossly irresponsible,” wrote Trump critic Josh Jordan. “We’re all skeptical of how Trump is trying to influence the process, but Harris could’ve said ‘If the proper safety testing is done, I would absolutely take the vaccine.’ This kind of statement from her carries a lot of weight – she knows better.”
Maybe, but we’re not surprised. She’s from the same party that actively rooted against hydroxychloroquine simply because President Trump praised the medicine. They would rather the pandemic rage on than to give the president an ounce of credit. We are in the age of Trump Derangement Syndrome, and we can’t think of a better example.
Shame on you, Kamala.