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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

In an interview that aired Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris sat down for a one-on-one with TODAY's Craig Melvin to discuss a wide range of issues. It was certainly noteworthy, in a bad way, to the point where it received criticism from the likes of Caleb Ecarma for Vanity Fair, who wrote "Kamala Harris's Revamped Press Strategy is Off to a Bumpy Start." Under the "What???" section for The Cut, Claire Lampen went with the headline of "Come Again, Kamala?"


Both pieces took issue with Harris' response to Melvin asking about "strategy" when it comes to the Wuhan coronavirus. "At what point does the administration say, you know what, this strategy isn't working? We're going to change strategies? Six former administration officials last week wrote that open letter urging the administration to change course, to change strategy. Is it time," he asked. 

The vice president's largely unintelligible answer appeared to push for vaccines. 

"It is time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is every day, every day it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down and so right now we know we still have a number of people that is in the millions of Americans who have not been vaccinated and could be vaccinated and we are urging them to get vaccinated because it will save their life," she responded. 


Harris answered with a non-answer of "I don't believe in giving up on people, Craig. I really don't," when he asked her a follow-up of "at what point does the administration acknowledge these people aren't going to get the shot? They're just not going to do it," at which point there was some cross-talk. 

The vice president also gave a confusing answer when it comes to the 500 million COVID tests that President Joe Biden promised last month to send to Americans. Not surprisingly, they have yet to be sent out. And Harris didn't offer much clarity. When Harris said "shortly, they're going to go out shortly," Melvin asked if that meant "next week."

"They've been ordered. They've been ordered," Harris responded. "We-I have to look at the current information,  I think it's going to be by next week. But soon, absolutely soon. And it is a matter of urgency for us."

The vice president did not appear to be too comfortable with Melvin's follow up questions of "should we have done that sooner," to which she merely responded "we are doing it," a response she repeated when Melvin repeated the follow up question. 


Not only did it make her look foolish, but the White House had to correct her statements. As Ronn Blitzer reported for Fox News, though, citing a White House official, it will take a bit longer. "The president’s 500 million at-home tests will be sent out later this month, and we expect all contracts to be awarded over the course of the next two weeks," the official said.

Melvin also tweeted an "update."

Another topic discussed in the interview was 2024, or at least he tried to discuss it. Harris paused and got testy with Melvin when he asked her "are we going to see the same Democratic ticket in 2024?"

After a brief, awkward silence, "I'm sorry, we are thinking about today. I mean, honestly, I-I-I know why you're asking the question because this is the part of the punditry and gossip around places around Washington, D.C. Let me just tell you something, we're focused on the things in front of us. We're what we need to do to address issues like affordable child care..."


Melvin cut her off to try to confirm "there will be no conversations about 2024" and Harris answered by way of stammering and eventually responding with "the American people sent here to do a job. And right now there's a lot of work to be done and there's my focus, sincerely."

Still trying to get a response, Melvin tried to bring up a potentially different ticket of Biden and Liz Cheney for 2024, as ridiculously offered by Thomas Friedman, which Matt highlighted on Wednesday. "You're familiar with the punditry," Melvin offered. "I don't know if you've heard there's been talk about a Biden-Cheney ticket in 2024. Did you read that article?"

"I did not. No, I did not. And I really could care less about the high-class gossip on these issues," Harris claimed. 

Such a lack of a response from Harris ought to be surprising, but it's actually not considering how much she's been floundering her first year as vice president. It's also a consistent sentiment from Harris. As Madeline and Matt reported last month, Harris claimed she and Biden have not discussed 2024 because they've been so busy, though Biden has said it is his "expectation" Harris would run with him.


While Biden is seriously unpopular, Harris is faring even worse. According to RealClearPolitics (RCP) an average of polls from last October 16-January 11 has her with a favorable rating of 39.1 percent and unfavorable rating of 53.0 percent.

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