Kamala Harris Contradicts Fauci: ‘We’re Starting from Scratch’ on COVID Vaccinations

US Vice President Kamala Harris hosts a virtual listening session with Black mayors about a Covid-19 relief response, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, February 10, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris seemingly contradicted Dr. Anthony Fauci’s positive assessment of former President Donald Trump‘s administration’s vaccine plan Sunday night.

Harris, in an interview with Axios, said that President Joe Biden’s administration did not inherit a vaccine plan from Trump. “There was no national strategy or plan for [COVID-19] vaccinations,” she said, adding:  “We’re starting from scratch.” 

Fauci had used virtually the exact phrase in a White House press briefing last month — “we certainly are not starting from scratch.” Axios deleted a social media post pointing out the apparent contradiction, reposting the clip of Harris without the Fauci comparison — and without explanation.

PolitiFact has rated Harris’s claim as “mostly false.”

The contradiction comes at a time when the Biden administration is under pressure to ramp up the rate of vaccinations as the pandemic persists. The pressure places Harris in a situation where she is willing to contradict the nation’s highest-paid federal employee and scientific adviser to the administration, Fauci, in order to reduce the administration’s political exposure.

Fauci has served presidents of both parties going back decades, and Biden decided to keep him on after succeeding Trump as president. 

Since Biden’s inauguration, reports of logistical bottlenecks have surfaced in several states’ vaccination efforts

The Los Angeles Times reports: “Omitted doses, uploading errors, lag times and software mishaps” have plagued California’s vaccine rollout, “leaving the state unable to keep track of how many doses of the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine are available at any one time.”


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