One-on-one with Vice President Harris: The Biden administration’s first year

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 4:00 AM MST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - On the first anniversary of the Biden administration, Vice President Kamala Harris is on a media tour highlighting their achievements. But, the pandemic rages on, and 400,000 more Americans have died since they’ve taken office.

In a one-on-one virtual interview with the Gray Television Washington News Bureau Wednesday, senior reporter Ted Fioraliso asked Harris, “What do you say to Americans who are counting on you to end this pandemic?”

“We are all -- two years into this -- frustrated. None of us want to wear a mask,” Harris responded.

Harris credited the more than 200 million Americans for getting vaccinated. She was optimistic about new treatments and tools, but admitted: “There’s more work that needs to be done. There’s no doubt about that.”

The Biden administration tried to get more people vaccinated by requiring large businesses to mandate the shot. But, the Supreme Court struck that down last week.

When asked what the administration’s new plan is, Harris did not directly answer. However, she did praise businesses requiring vaccinations.

“There are employers who don’t need to be told that to do. They’re taking it in their own hands to say what’s in the best interest of the safety of people who work in their workplaces,” she said.

And then, there’s the pinch at the pump. Despite the administration opening the oil reserves at the end of November, this week, the price of oil hit its highest since 2014. Adding to that, Americans are dealing with a lot of empty grocery store shelves.

“What tools [do] the Biden administration have to address these pocket book issues?” asked Fioraliso.

“We’ve got to deal with the supply chain in terms of opening up our ports…we’ve got to work them seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” said Harris. “What else do we need to do? Bring down the cost of living.”

The White House wanted to do that through the Build Back Better Act. But, it’s essentially dead after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said he’d vote no.

When asked what they plan to do now, Harris responded, “Part of what we’re committed to doing is bringing down the cost of child care.”

Even if the White House can get the holdout Democratic senators on board, the Senate is still split 50-50.

Vice President Harris would have to cast the tie-breaking vote, which she has already done 15 times.

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