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Video: Biden and Harris honor 500,000 Americans lost in pandemic

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Biden and Harris honor 500,000 Americans lost in pandemic

As the nation passed a “truly dark and heartbreaking milestone on Monday,” President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris observed a moment of silence during a ceremony at the White House.

Today we mark a truly dark and heartbreaking milestone: 500,071 dead. More Americans have died in a year in this pandemic than in WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War combined. This is more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth. We often hear people described as “ordinary Americans”. There is nothing like it. There is nothing ordinary about them. The people we lost were amazing. They have crossed generations. Born in America, immigrated to America. But just like that, many of them took their last breaths on their own in America. As a nation, we cannot accept such a cruel fate. Although we have been fighting this pandemic for so long, we must resist becoming numb with pain. We must resist seeing every life as a statistic or a blur or on the news. We must do this to honor the dead, but just as importantly, take care of the living, those they have left behind.

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Biden wants Harris to have a major role. What it is has not been defined.

WASHINGTON – President Biden was listing his priorities for a coronavirus relief bill during one of his first meetings with reporters as commander-in-chief when he stopped mid-sentence for correct himself.

These elements, Mr Biden said, are what “we think are the priorities,” emphasizing the pronoun. Then, turning to face Vice President Kamala Harris, standing a few steps behind him, he apologized.

It was a rare mistake for the president, who has worked to include Ms Harris in almost all of her public appearances, and has emphasized that she is a full partner in the decisions he makes. These recurring scenes are the most tangible result of Mr Biden’s efforts – and a presidential directive – to treat Ms Harris, the first black woman and vice president, as a full stakeholder as he moves forward. strives to reconcile the nation’s political divisions, tackle racial inequalities and derail the coronavirus pandemic.

“The president has given us clear instructions,” Ron Klain, Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, said in an interview. “Our goal is to get her out as much as possible.”

Ms Harris’ relationship with the president was forged by the outright politics of the Democratic primary campaign, when she became one of Mr Biden’s most vocal opponents. A surprising chemistry with Mr. Biden has made them running mates and that relationship will now be crucial in enabling Ms. Harris to define herself in what historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. has said has turned out to be “spectacular work and , I believe, incurable. frustration.”

“She went from that failed campaign to getting the golden ticket, as the chief substitute for a guy who appreciates the role of vice president, and is going to put her out there in that historic role,” said Gil Duran, Ms Harris’ former aide when she was California attorney general. “So the question is, what is she doing with this reset?”

The answer is a work in progress.

The Vice President has already made her presence known, most recently on Friday morning, when she traveled to Capitol Hill before sunrise to vote a tie in the Senate, paving the way for the 1, 1 coronavirus stimulus package. $ 9 trillion from Mr. Biden to move forward without Republican support. .

And as part of the barrier-breaking partnership, Ms Harris has taken on the onus of meeting the expectations of voters, especially people of color, who helped place Mr Biden in the Oval Office. It is a burden that Mr. Klain says he has borne “with grace” even as it weighs heavily on her. Others say it will take time to forge its own course.

For now, the vice president’s personnel advisers appear determined to cement and emphasize his connection to Mr Biden through their joint appearances, while seeking to avoid letting Ms Harris become a rigid figure and model standing alongside. of President, just as Vice President Mike Pence has done for the past four years.

For a model, Ms. Harris doesn’t need to look any further than Mr. Biden. In eight years as vice president, he has carved out his own role alongside President Barack Obama, but not before overcoming a relationship that was initially tough and formal.

Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris start faster. They spent much more time together than their predecessors – typically four to five hours a day in the White House, assistants say – in part because the coronavirus pandemic has limited their travel.

Ms Harris and Mr Biden typically start the day receiving the President’s daily briefing together in the Oval Office, a tradition restored since the departure of President Donald J. Trump, who had little interest in it. They also quickly embraced the idea of ​​a weekly White House lunch as a private opportunity to build confidence and share their ideas.

When putting together her own staff, Ms. Harris selected people who she believed had a good relationship with the president and his team. She chose Tina Flournoy, who has close ties to Mr. Klain, to run her office. Ashley Etienne, former advisor to President Nancy Pelosi, is its communications director.

Ms Harris also knew the president held Symone Sanders, who worked as a press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign before joining the Biden campaign in high regard. Ms. Sanders is now his press secretary.

The Vice President’s aides have repeatedly stressed that all of her events and public messages are closely coordinated with members of Mr. Biden’s team. A visit by Ms Harris last week to the National Institutes of Health to thank scientists and receive his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine was linked to a speech later today by Mr Biden in which he announced the acquisition 200 million additional doses. vaccine.

The appearance made a lasting impression on Rep. Joyce Beatty, Democrat of Ohio and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, in the district. In an interview, Ms Beatty said her phone turned on with calls from voters who were newly curious about getting the shots themselves after photos of Ms Harris receiving the photo were posted online.

Black Americans are nearly three times more likely to die from the coronavirus than white Americans, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but white Americans are more likely to receive the vaccine, in part because of the systemic racism present in health care institutions. The sight of a black woman receiving the vaccine, Ms. Beatty said, “gave people hope and gave them an education.”

These moments, during which Ms. Harris connects with people from across the country, are critical to any future she may have beyond administration. But they are also in line with messages Mr Biden hopes his vice president – as a woman, a minority and a young generation – can deliver on behalf of his agenda.

But, as Mr. Biden is well aware, the more opportunities there are to forge a distinct identity as vice president, the more likely it is to make a mess. As vice president, Mr. Biden’s talkativeness has often caught the well-designed Obama White House by surprise. At times, including in 2012 when he voiced support for same-sex marriage before Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden completely rejected the script.

When Ms Harris was interviewed last week with a West Virginia TV station, her support for the president’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan was interpreted as an attempt to pressure the senator State Democrat Joe Manchin III, who took offense and expressed displeasure at not being warned.

And in a small stream during the same interview, Ms. Harris promoted the clearance of “abandoned landmines” in West Virginia – not “abandoned mining lands” – as an effort to create jobs in the state.

White House officials were quickly in touch with Mr Manchin to control the damage, lining the shutter in publicly praising Mr Manchin’s value for the Biden-Harris agenda.

Ms Harris also faced questions about her family members who were enjoying their relationships with her. Reports that Ms Harris’ daughter-in-law received a modeling contract a week after opening day have raised eyebrows even among the president’s allies. And a business run by Ms Harris’ niece that sells Harris-themed merchandise is an ethical issue for Mr Biden’s assistants since the campaign. The White House said her name would not be used for business activities that “involve endorsement or support,” according to a spokesperson.

This did not diminish the President’s opinion of Ms Harris. White House officials have said Mr. Biden is eager to put it to work, much as Mr. Obama instructed him with the economic recovery program in early 2009. But the fact that the president didn’t not intend to immediately assign him a specific portfolio. inevitably prompted questions about his role in administration.

Instead, Mr Biden gave Ms Harris a slew of high-profile tasks during their first two weeks in office. Just hours after the president announced on inauguration day that the United States was planning to join the World Health Organization, the vice president was on the phone with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief executive of the group, reaffirming support for the new administration after M. Trump’s sustained attacks on the world’s leading health institution.

The call sent an early message that she is speaking on behalf of Mr Biden about some of his most critical priorities, but Ms Harris has not been shy about putting pressure on Mr Biden on her own. In recent weeks, aides to the president and vice-president said she had repeatedly insisted that administration policies affect the less fortunate in often neglected urban and rural communities.

In an Oval Office meeting with Mr Biden and his advisers on the first Monday at the White House, Ms Harris urged Jeffrey D. Zients, the coronavirus response coordinator, to provide more details on the use of the Mobile vaccination centers to ensure that poor people living in remote areas could be protected from the virus.

“The vice president pushed us hard, in a very good way, on are there enough mobile units available?” As we ended this meeting, she urged me to say, “Where are we with the mobile immunization units? How many are we going to have, in what period of time? Will they be able to reach rural and urban communities? What progress have you made? Mr. Zients said.

That kind of persistence has left a deep impression on Mr. Biden, his staff say.

It was only hours after Ms Harris sprayed Mr Zients with questions that the President found himself taking credit for his coronavirus relief plan on stage with Ms Harris on his own. Mr Klain, who has served two vice presidents as chief of staff, said the instance was more evidence that Mr Biden had an instinctive understanding of what those moments might feel like.

“It starts with a president who has been there and understands what it feels like to be the person standing behind two steps back at a public event,” Klain said. “I think he has this empathy for his situation which is unique.”

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Biden wants Harris to have a major role. What it is has not been defined.

WASHINGTON – President Biden was listing his priorities for a coronavirus relief bill during one of his first meetings with reporters as commander-in-chief when he stopped mid-sentence for correct himself.

These elements, Mr Biden said, are what “we think are the priorities,” emphasizing the pronoun. Then, turning to face Vice President Kamala Harris, standing a few steps behind him, he apologized.

It was a rare mistake for the president, who has worked to include Ms Harris in almost all of her public appearances, and has emphasized that she is a full partner in the decisions he makes. These recurring scenes are the most tangible result of Mr Biden’s efforts – and a presidential directive – to treat Ms Harris, the first black woman and vice president, as a full stakeholder as he moves forward. strives to reconcile the nation’s political divisions, tackle racial inequalities and derail the coronavirus pandemic.

“The president has given us clear instructions,” Ron Klain, Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, said in an interview. “Our goal is to get her out as much as possible.”

Ms Harris’ relationship with the president was forged by the outright politics of the Democratic primary campaign, when she became one of Mr Biden’s most vocal opponents. A surprising chemistry with Mr. Biden has made them running mates and that relationship will now be crucial in enabling Ms. Harris to define herself in what historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. has said has turned out to be “spectacular work and , I believe, incurable. frustration.”

“She went from that failed campaign to getting the golden ticket, as the chief substitute for a guy who appreciates the role of vice president, and is going to put her out there in that historic role,” said Gil Duran, Ms Harris’ former aide when she was California attorney general. “So the question is, what is she doing with this reset?”

The answer is a work in progress.

The Vice President has already made her presence known, most recently on Friday morning, when she traveled to Capitol Hill before sunrise to vote a tie in the Senate, paving the way for the 1, 1 coronavirus stimulus package. $ 9 trillion from Mr. Biden to move forward without Republican support. .

And as part of the barrier-breaking partnership, Ms Harris has taken on the onus of meeting the expectations of voters, especially people of color, who helped place Mr Biden in the Oval Office. It is a burden that Mr. Klain says he has borne “with grace” even as it weighs heavily on her. Others say it will take time to forge its own course.

For now, the vice president’s personnel advisers appear determined to cement and emphasize his connection to Mr Biden through their joint appearances, while seeking to avoid letting Ms Harris become a rigid figure and model standing alongside. of President, just as Vice President Mike Pence has done for the past four years.

For a model, Ms. Harris doesn’t need to look any further than Mr. Biden. In eight years as vice president, he has carved out his own role alongside President Barack Obama, but not before overcoming a relationship that was initially tough and formal.

Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris start faster. They spent much more time together than their predecessors – typically four to five hours a day in the White House, assistants say – in part because the coronavirus pandemic has limited their travel.

Ms Harris and Mr Biden typically start the day receiving the President’s daily briefing together in the Oval Office, a tradition restored since the departure of President Donald J. Trump, who had little interest in it. They also quickly embraced the idea of ​​a weekly White House lunch as a private opportunity to build confidence and share their ideas.

When putting together her own staff, Ms. Harris selected people who she believed had a good relationship with the president and his team. She chose Tina Flournoy, who has close ties to Mr. Klain, to run her office. Ashley Etienne, former advisor to President Nancy Pelosi, is its communications director.

Ms Harris also knew the president held Symone Sanders, who worked as a press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign before joining the Biden campaign in high regard. Ms. Sanders is now his press secretary.

The Vice President’s aides have repeatedly stressed that all of her events and public messages are closely coordinated with members of Mr. Biden’s team. A visit by Ms Harris last week to the National Institutes of Health to thank scientists and receive his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine was linked to a speech later today by Mr Biden in which he announced the acquisition 200 million additional doses. vaccine.

The appearance made a lasting impression on Rep. Joyce Beatty, Democrat of Ohio and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, in the district. In an interview, Ms Beatty said her phone turned on with calls from voters who were newly curious about getting the shots themselves after photos of Ms Harris receiving the photo were posted online.

Black Americans are nearly three times more likely to die from the coronavirus than white Americans, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but white Americans are more likely to receive the vaccine, in part because of the systemic racism present in health care institutions. The sight of a black woman receiving the vaccine, Ms. Beatty said, “gave people hope and gave them an education.”

These moments, during which Ms. Harris connects with people from across the country, are critical to any future she may have beyond administration. But they are also in line with messages Mr Biden hopes his vice president – as a woman, a minority and a young generation – can deliver on behalf of his agenda.

But, as Mr. Biden is well aware, the more opportunities there are to forge a distinct identity as vice president, the more likely it is to make a mess. As vice president, Mr. Biden’s talkativeness has often caught the well-designed Obama White House by surprise. At times, including in 2012 when he voiced support for same-sex marriage before Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden completely rejected the script.

When Ms Harris was interviewed last week with a West Virginia TV station, her support for the president’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan was interpreted as an attempt to pressure the senator State Democrat Joe Manchin III, who took offense and expressed displeasure at not being warned.

And in a small stream during the same interview, Ms. Harris promoted the clearance of “abandoned landmines” in West Virginia – not “abandoned mining lands” – as an effort to create jobs in the state.

White House officials were quickly in touch with Mr Manchin to control the damage, lining the shutter in publicly praising Mr Manchin’s value for the Biden-Harris agenda.

Ms Harris also faced questions about her family members who were enjoying their relationships with her. Reports that Ms Harris’ daughter-in-law received a modeling contract a week after opening day have raised eyebrows even among the president’s allies. And a business run by Ms Harris’ niece that sells Harris-themed merchandise is an ethical issue for Mr Biden’s assistants since the campaign. The White House said her name would not be used for business activities that “involve endorsement or support,” according to a spokesperson.

This did not diminish the President’s opinion of Ms Harris. White House officials have said Mr. Biden is eager to put it to work, much as Mr. Obama instructed him with the economic recovery program in early 2009. But the fact that the president didn’t not intend to immediately assign him a specific portfolio. inevitably prompted questions about his role in administration.

Instead, Mr Biden gave Ms Harris a slew of high-profile tasks during their first two weeks in office. Just hours after the president announced on inauguration day that the United States was planning to join the World Health Organization, the vice president was on the phone with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief executive of the group, reaffirming support for the new administration after M. Trump’s sustained attacks on the world’s leading health institution.

The call sent an early message that she is speaking on behalf of Mr Biden about some of his most critical priorities, but Ms Harris has not been shy about putting pressure on Mr Biden on her own. In recent weeks, aides to the president and vice-president said she had repeatedly insisted that administration policies affect the less fortunate in often neglected urban and rural communities.

In an Oval Office meeting with Mr Biden and his advisers on the first Monday at the White House, Ms Harris urged Jeffrey D. Zients, the coronavirus response coordinator, to provide more details on the use of the Mobile vaccination centers to ensure that poor people living in remote areas could be protected from the virus.

“The vice president pushed us hard, in a very good way, on are there enough mobile units available?” As we ended this meeting, she urged me to say, “Where are we with the mobile immunization units? How many are we going to have, in what period of time? Will they be able to reach rural and urban communities? What progress have you made? Mr. Zients said.

That kind of persistence has left a deep impression on Mr. Biden, his staff say.

It was only hours after Ms Harris sprayed Mr Zients with questions that the President found himself taking credit for his coronavirus relief plan on stage with Ms Harris on his own. Mr Klain, who has served two vice presidents as chief of staff, said the instance was more evidence that Mr Biden had an instinctive understanding of what those moments might feel like.

“It starts with a president who has been there and understands what it feels like to be the person standing behind two steps back at a public event,” Klain said. “I think he has this empathy for his situation which is unique.”

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Kamala Harris casts her first decisive vote

It was, in a way, a setting both dramatic and anti-climatic for Vice President Kamala Harris’ first decisive vote in the Senate: just before dawn in a lightly packed room, at the end of a 15-minute session. hours in which senators voted on dozens of amendments to one of the biggest stimulus packages in American history.

Minus, perhaps, the 3pm session, it was a scene that was sure to repeat itself several times. The revival may be one of their top priorities, but it’s also just the first of many policies the Biden administration hopes to push through with an equally divided Senate between parties that disagree on almost everything, even when the American people don’t.

In the hours leading up to her vote, Ms Harris met with several Senators – including Raphael Warnock, Democrat of Georgia, and Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri – and participated in the swearing-in ceremony of Senator Alex Padilla, who replaced his last month as a junior senator from California.

She returned to her Senate office around 3:30 a.m., according to a White House aide. With C-SPAN in the background, she passed the time by writing notes to Senators Dianne Feinstein of California and Patty Murray of Washington, congratulating them on their 9,000th vote, and Ann Berry, who was nominated this first week. black secretary. of the Senate.

Ms Harris arrived in the Senate shortly after 5 a.m. in anticipation of the session’s final vote – on a budget plan that would allow Democrats to pass a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package without Republican backing – and took her place at the head of the room. .

“Hello,” Senator Jon Ossoff, Democrat of Georgia, tweeted at 5:13 am “We still vote in the Senate. And @KamalaHarris has just arrived in the bedroom to help us move COVID relief forward.

At that precise moment, Ms Harris was casting what was technically her first decisive vote in favor of an amendment proposed by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader.

But it was at 5:34 a.m., 95 minutes before sunrise in Washington, that she broke the tie that counted.

“On this vote, the yeas are 50, the nays are 50,” she said. “The Senate being divided equally, the vice-president votes in the affirmative and the competing resolution as amended is adopted.”

There was no doubt about the weight of those words. They brought forward an extremely hard-hitting bill, of course. But they also signaled that for the next two years the most influential voice in the United States could be that of Ms. Harris declaring, in the stilted language of third-person Senate procedure, how the Vice President vote.

As she pronounced the adopted resolution and slid her chair off the desk, her eyes narrowed in what, behind two masks, was clearly a smile.

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Video: Kamala Harris Breaks Senate Bond

“Ms. Gillibrand, Mr. Graham, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Hagerty, Ms. Hassan and Mr. Hawley, and Mr. Heinrich, Mr. Hickenlooper, Ms. Hirono. Mr. Hoeven, Ms. Hyde-Smith. Mr. Inhofe. Mr. Johnson. ”“ On this vote, the yeas are 50, the nays are 50. The Senate being divided equally, the vice-president votes in the affirmative and the concurrent resolution as amended is adopted. ”

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Video: Harris swears to Blinken as Secretary of State

new video loaded: Harris swears to Blinken as secretary of state

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Harris swears to Blinken as Secretary of State

Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in to Antony J. Blinken on Wednesday, his first full day as head of the State Department.

“Me, Antony Blinken.” “Me, Antony Blinken.” “Solemnly swear.” “Solemnly swear.” “That I will support and defend.” “That I will support and defend.” “The Constitution of the United States.” “The Constitution of the United States.” “Against all enemies, foreigners and nationals.” “Against all enemies, foreigners and nationals.” “That I will carry true faith and allegiance to the same.” “That I will carry true faith and allegiance to the same.” “That I take this obligation freely.” “That I take this obligation freely.” “Without any mental reserve or purpose of escape.” “Without any mental reserve or purpose of escape.” “That I will discharge well and faithfully.” “That I will discharge well and faithfully.” “The functions of the office I’m about to enter. “The functions of the office I’m about to enter. “So help me God.” “So help me God.” “Congratulations, Mr. Secretary.” “Thank you, Madam Vice-President.” “Congratulations.”

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Video: Harris receives second dose of vaccine

TimesVideoHarris Gets Second Dose of Vaccine Vice President Kamala Harris received her second dose of Moderna coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., Claiming the vaccine is “something that can save your life. life”. By Reuters.

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Harris says America must have “the courage to see beyond the crisis.”

Vice President Kamala Harris said in a televised speech Wednesday night that even in times of historic turmoil, Americans keep trying to improve their country and she pleaded with the nation to have “the courage to see beyond the crisis ”.

Ms Harris, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, where 400 lights signify the 400,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus, stressed that she remains optimistic because of the ‘American aspiration’ and the innovation she has seen from doctors , teachers, parents and others who were working to overcome the challenges of the moment.

Like President Biden, who spoke minutes before her from inside the Lincoln Memorial, Ms. Harris compared the threat of the coronavirus pandemic to two crises of the previous two centuries: civil war and movement. civil rights.

“Even in dark times, we don’t just dream, we do it,” Ms. Harris said. She said that in these pivotal moments in American history, Abraham Lincoln “saw and built a better future,” and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “fought for racial justice and justice. economic justice ”.

To face the moment, she said, Americans must continue to “refine,” “tinker with” and “perfect” the nation, which she said was already happening amid the pandemic.

Mr. Biden called on Americans to “do the hard things,” she said, “to do the right thing, to unite, to believe in ourselves, to believe in our country – to believe in what we can do together ”.

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Video: Kamala Harris swears to NDP senators

new video loaded: Kamala Harris swears to NDP senators

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Kamala Harris swears to NDP senators

Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in on Wednesday by three new senators: Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California. Democrats now have tight control over the Senate.

“If the elected senators and the appointed senators now come to the office, the president will administer the oath.” “Sir. Ossoff, Mr. Padilla, Mr. Warnock.” Please raise your right hand. OK, solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and national, that you will carry true faith and allegiance to the same, that you will assume this obligation freely, without any mental reserve or purpose of escape, and that you will discharge well and faithfully the duties of the office into which you are about to enter in order to help you God? Senators: “Yes.” “Congratulations.” [applause]

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Keep up to date with the latest news from the 2020 election campaign.

Keep up to date with the latest news from the 2020 election campaign.

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Video: Kamala Harris arrives in front of the White House

TimesVideoKamala Harris arrives at the White House Vice President Kamala Harris walked to the White House after a visit to Arlington National Cemetery.