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Vice President Kamala Harris said during an interview with CBS News this week that it was not the time to assign blame as the number of coronavirus cases starts to rise.
Harris made the remarks as the Biden administration struggles to contain a surge in new cases driven by the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, a more infectious but potentially less lethal variant of the virus.
“Is it the fault of the unvaccinated?” CBS News host Margaret Brennan asked.
“I don’t think this is a moment to talk about fault,” Harris responded. “It is no one’s fault that this virus hit our shores or hit the world. But it is more about individual power and responsibility and it’s about the decisions that everyone has the choice to make.”
Fox News noted that Harris’ remarks were in contrast to remarks made by President Joe Biden in September.
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Biden said. “And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.”
MARGARET BRENNAN, HOST: Do you feel that Senator Manchin is playing fair with you? I mean he went on television and said, “no,” pretty definitively.
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT: I think the stakes are too high for this to be in any way about any specific individual.
BRENNAN: It’s a 50-50 Senate though. So, you need him.
HARRIS: It is, I’m the tie breaker. The stakes are so high. I refuse to get caught up in the what might be personal politics when the people who are waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning worried about how they’re going to get by could care less about the politics of D.C.
BRENNAN: So, you don’t feel betrayed?
HARRIS: No. I don’t have any personal feelings about this. This is about – let’s get the job done. Let’s talk with families who say, “I can’t afford to do the basic things that I need to do as a responsible adult, like care for my children, care for my elder parents or afford to get lifesaving medication like insulin.”
BRENNAN: How do you do that without Senator Manchin?
HARRIS: You don’t give up. That’s how we do it.
BRENNAN: Is it the fault of the unvaccinated?
HARRIS: I don’t think this is a moment to talk about fault. It is no one’s fault that this virus hit our shores or hit the world. But it is more about individual power and responsibility and it’s about the decisions that everyone has the choice to make.