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In VP debate, Pence and Harris offer conflicting views of nation’s reality

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The vice presidential candidates only meet once to debate before the general election on November 3. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Trump administration’s pandemic response: decisive action that saved lives, or the greatest failure of any presidential administration? During Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Mike Pence and the Democratic challenger, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, offered drastically different takes — from behind plexiglass screens — on how the president has handled the COVID-19 crisis.

Pence touted problematic claims, such as that President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from China helped the nation respond to the coronavirus (PolitiFact rated a similar claim “False”) and that the country would have a vaccine in less than a year (the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a vaccine, yet to be approved, will not be widely available until next year).

Harris said the Trump administration misled the public about how serious the virus is, pointing to briefings Trump and Pence received in January. Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in a recorded interview that he purposely downplayed it.

Our partners at PolitiFact broke down a whole gamut of claims — on fracking, the economic recovery and the Supreme Court. The highlights regarding health care and coronavirus policies follow:

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Kamala Harris: “The president said [the coronavirus] was a hoax.”Rating: False

This often-repeated statement falsely attributed to Trump has its roots in a Feb. 28 rally in North Carolina. But it’s a mischaracterization of what he actually said, which was an attack on Democrats’ response to the virus.

Trump cast the Democrats’ criticism of his work as foisting a hoax on the public. “They tried the impeachment hoax,” he said. “That was not a perfect conversation. They tried anything. They tried it over and over. They’d been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning. They lost. It’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.”

Mike Pence: The Rose Garden event with Judge Amy Coney Barrett “was an outdoor event, which all of our scientists regularly and routinely advised.”Wrong

The event included an indoor component, during which Trump, Barrett and others posed for photos without masks. Public health officials do say outdoor activities are less risky — provided masks are worn — than indoor events, where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation. But attendees of the Sept. 26 White House event for the nomination of Barrett to the Supreme Court did not practice social distancing, and many did not wear masks throughout the event.

Pence: Trump “suspended all travel from China. … Joe Biden opposed that decision. He called it xenophobic and hysterical.”Misleading

There were exemptions in Trump’s travel restrictions on China. On Jan. 21, the CDC confirmed the first U.S. case of the

Vice presidential debate: Kamala Harris claims she won’t take vaccine if Trump recommends

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said Wednesday that she would not take a vaccine recommended by President Trump during a heated debate clash over the White House’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Harris accused Vice President Mike Pence, head of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, of failing to disclose critical information to Americans in the early days of the pandemic. When asked about a poll showing half of Americans would not take a vaccine as soon as it is available, Harris indicated that she was skeptical of Trump’s involvement in the rollout of a potential vaccine.

“If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely,” Harris said. “But if Donald Trump tells us we should take it, I’m not taking it.”

Harris, citing a recent report from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, accused the Trump administration of downplaying the severity of the pandemic and bungling its initial response to the novel coronavirus. The California senator said Americans “have had to sacrifice far too much because of the incompetence of this administration.”

Pence fired back at Harris, asserting the Trump administration would have a vaccine “in record time” and potentially by as soon this year. He noted that five U.S. companies were conducting phase three clinical trials of potential vaccines.

WHAT A NEW FOX NEWS NATIONAL POLL SAYS ABOUT THE BIDEN-TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL RACE

“The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if a vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable, and Senator, I just ask you to stop playing politics with peoples’ lives,” Pence said. “The reality is that we will have a vaccine, we believe, before the end of this year, and it will have capacity to save countless American lives and your continuous undermining of confidence in a vaccine is just unacceptable.”

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Kamala Harris Doesn’t Trust Trump’s Word on Vaccines. She’s Not Alone

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris questioned Donald Trump’s word on a potential COVID-19 vaccine in Wednesday’s debate, and polling suggests she is not alone in distrusting the president on this point.



Kamala Harris sitting at a table: Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in the vice presidential debate against U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, on October 7, 2020.


© Alex Wong/Getty
Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in the vice presidential debate against U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, on October 7, 2020.

Harris was asked whether she would take a vaccine if one were approved by the Trump administration, during her head-to-head with Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday.

“If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely,” she said. “But if Donald Trump tells us we should take it, I’m not taking it.”

Pence criticized Harris’ comments and told her: “The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable.”

Watch: Harris Tells Pence ‘Mr. Vice President, I’m Speaking’ When He Interrupts During 2020 Debate

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While the Republican pushed back against Harris’ remarks, polling suggests her view reflects public opinion.

In an Axios/Ipsos survey, conducted among 1,075 U.S. adults from September 24 to 27, people were asked how likely they would be to take a first generation COVID-19 vaccine in a range of scenarios.

In a situation in which their doctor said a vaccine was safe, 62 percent said they were likely to take it. Then asked how they would react if Trump said it was safe, 19 percent said they would be likely to take it.

In an ABC News/Ipsos poll, conducted among 528 adults September 18 to 19, most of those asked said they did not trust Trump to confirm the safety and effectiveness of a potential coronavirus vaccine.

Asked how much confidence they had that he could do so, 53 percent said none at all.

An NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll found that a majority of those asked if they trust what Trump has said about a vaccine for the coronavirus, said they did not.

Of 36,551 respondents, asked online from September 7 to 13, 52 percent said they did not trust what Trump had said.

Meanwhile, separate polling has reported a fall in the proportion of people who have said they would get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Trump has long spoken of his push for a vaccine to

Kamala Harris Says She Wouldn’t Trust a Vaccine Trump Recommended

Citing the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kamala Harris said that she’d happily take a vaccine that doctors and scientists recommend — but absolutely not one touted by Donald Trump.

Asked at Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate whether she would take a vaccine approved by the Trump administration before or after the election, Harris said she’d be the “first in line” to take the vaccine if health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci recommended it.

“If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely. But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it,” Harris said.

Also Read: New England Journal of Medicine Blasts Trump Administration’s ‘Dangerously Incompetent’ Pandemic Response

Harris’ one-liner didn’t happen in a vacuum of course. They come after the Trump administration has in recent weeks tried to speed up the process of vaccine production to come out before the election. For instance this week when it tried to overrule FDA guidelines for the safe development of a vaccine in a transparent attempt to have a vaccine before the election. However, the FDA ultimately prevailed and the safer guidelines will prevent a vaccine from being rushed out.

Vice President Mike Pence responded that Harris should “stop playing politics with people’s lives” and accused Harris of “undermining” a vaccine.

Kamala Harris on a coronavirus vaccine: “If the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line … but if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.”#VPDebate pic.twitter.com/XkXoj4tM1C

— The Recount (@therecount) October 8, 2020

Read original story Kamala Harris Says She Wouldn’t Trust a Vaccine Trump Recommended At TheWrap

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Fact-checking the 2020 vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic his Democratic challenger, California Sen. Kamala Harris, face off in Salt Lake City Wednesday night for the lone 2020 vice presidential debate.

The live, 90-minute debate, moderated by USA Today Washington Bureau chief Susan Page, touched on the coronavirus, the economy, climate change, the Supreme Court and more.

Below, ABC News will fact check what both candidates say. Refresh for the latest updates.

PHOTO: Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris arrive for the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, Oct. 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City.

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris arrive for the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, Oct. 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City.

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris arrive for the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, Oct. 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City.

Pence misleads when comparing COVID-19 pandemic to H1N1, Obama administration response

PENCE’S CLAIM: “We actually do know what failure looks like in a pandemic: It was 2009, the swine flu arrived in the United States. … When Joe Biden was vice president of the United States, not 7.5 million people contracted the swine flu, 60 million Americans contracted the swine flu.”

FACT CHECK: While Pence is correct that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the 2009 swine flu pandemic infected an estimated 60.8 million Americans in its first year, it is misleading to compare the two outbreaks given H1N1’s far lower fatality rate, and similarly misleading to call the Obama administration’s response a “failure.”

The CDC estimates up to 575,000 lives were lost to the swine flu worldwide. Of those, fewer than 13,000 were American, due in part to the Obama administration’s “complex, multi-faceted and long-term response,” the CDC later wrote. Thus far, COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 210,000 Americans, a little over eight months since the first known case of the virus was discovered in the United States.

“The team, in my opinion, in 2009, really demonstrated that the planning was worth it. Nothing is ever perfect. But I felt just so impressed and so proud of the job CDC did in 2009,” Dr. Julie Gerberding, a CDC director during the George W. Bush administration, told ABC News.

–John Verhovek and Lucien Bruggeman

Pence overstates China travel restrictions

PHOTO: Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, Oct. 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, Oct. 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, Oct. 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City.

FACT CHECK: At the end of January, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation to restrict travelers who had visited China in the previous 14 days from entering

Pence, Harris spar over potential coronavirus vaccine

Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, sparred over a potential coronavirus vaccine during Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate.

Harris, who in the past has wavered about whether she would take a vaccine approved under the Trump administration’s watch, said if medical experts, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, sign off on a candidate, “I’ll be the first in line to take it.” But she clarified if President Trump “tells us to take it, them I’m not taking it.”

Pence chose to respond to Harris’ remarks when asked a separate question, accusing her of continuing to “undermine public confidence in a vaccine,” which he said was “unconscionable.” He then asked the senator to “stop playing politics with people’s lives” before reiterating the White House’s belief that a vaccine will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year.

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Biden, Harris Split on Coronavirus Vaccine at Vice Presidential Debate | America 2020

Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday kicked off the first and only vice presidential debate by highlighting their divide over the coronavirus pandemic.

Surveys have shown a significant number of people would not be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine. Harris indicated she would be eager to get a vaccine if it were recommended by experts.

“If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely,” Harris said. “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.”

Photos: Daily Life, Disrupted

TOPSHOT - A passenger in an outfit (R) poses for a picture as a security guard wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus stands nearby on a last century-style boat, featuring a theatrical drama set between the 1920s and 1930s in Wuhan, in Chinas central Hubei province on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Pence accused Harris of sowing doubt over the vaccine.

“The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable,” Pence said.

Harris, like her running mate Joe Biden during the previous presidential debate, painted the Trump administration as not having a plan for the pandemic, which has infected over 7.5 million people in the U.S. and killed more than 211,000.

“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” Harris said.

The seven-day average for new coronavirus infections is over 43,000 cases, according to government statistics compiled by USAFacts. That average for fatalities is about 680 deaths. While cases and deaths are below what they were during their previous peaks, they are still elevated.

(Courtesy of USAFacts)

(Courtesy of USAFacts)

Pence said that it is a “great disservice to the sacrifices the American people have made” to say efforts over the last eight months haven’t worked.

Pence, in response to a question from moderator Susan Page, also defended the event in the Rose Garden 11 days ago where social distancing was not observed and very few were seen in masks. President Donald Trump and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus following the event.

“Many of the people who were at that event, Susan, actually were tested for coronavirus, and it was an outdoor event, which all of our scientists regularly and routinely advise,” Pence said.

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In debate, Kamala Harris says she won’t take COVID vaccine just on Trump’s say-so






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Sen. Kamala Harris said during Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate with Vice President Mike Pence that she didn’t trust the administration’s push to rush a coronavirus vaccine into production.

“If the public health professionals, if Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it. Absolutely,” Harris said during the live debate in Salt Lake City, when asked if Americans should take a vaccine if the Trump administration approves one before or after the election. “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it. I’m not taking it.”

Debate moderator Susan Page asked Pence a different question, but Pence took the opportunity to respond to Harris.



Kamala Harris holding a racket: US Democratic vice presidential nominee and Senator from California, Kamala Harris speaks during the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)


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US Democratic vice presidential nominee and Senator from California, Kamala Harris speaks during the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

“We’re going to have a vaccine in record time, in unheard of time in less than a year,” he said. “We have five companies in phase-three clinical trials. And we’re right now producing tens of millions of doses. So the fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable. And senator, I just ask you: stop playing politics with people’s lives.”

Public health experts have said that a widely available vaccine likely won’t be available until at least next year. Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said that a vaccine would not be broadly available to the public until the middle of 2021.

More than 200,000 have died from coronavirus in the U.S. and more than seven million people have contracted the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.




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Pence Accuses Harris of ‘Playing Politics with People’s Lives’ by ‘Undermining Confidence’ in Vaccine

Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday accused Senator Kamala Harris of “playing politics with people’s lives” by saying that she would not take a vaccine for the coronavirus if it was endorsed by President Trump.

During Wednesday evening’s vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City, Harris said she would take a vaccine if it were approved by “public health professionals” including Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor for the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, but not if Trump signed off on it.

“If the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely,” Harris said. “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.”

Pence immediately condemned the California senator’s position, saying she could be endangering lives by casting doubt on the efficacy of a potential vaccine against the deadly pathogen.

“The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable,” Pence responded.

“Senator, I just ask you, stop playing politics with people’s lives,” the vice president said.

In June, Fauci said that he is “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine for the coronavirus will be available to the American public by the end of the year or early 2021.

“The reality is that we will have a vaccine, we believe, before the end of this year,” Pence continued at the debate. “And it will have the capacity to save countless American lives. And your continuous undermining of confidence in a vaccine is just unacceptable.”

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‘My Experience With Fibroids Is Why I’m Supporting Kamala Harris’

When I was in my late twenties, I decided that I was going to donate my eggs. I had learned about egg donation through a friend whose aunt was going through the IVF process, and I thought it was a wonderful way to help a couple who was in need.

At the time I wasn’t 100 percent sure that I wasn’t going to have children, but I was already leaning toward no. So I researched the egg donation process and decided to go through with it in order to aid a couple who had that yearning that I didn’t have. But while preparing to undergo the process, the doctor retrieving the eggs made a discovery: I had fibroids growing inside of my uterus.

The doctor told me not to worry about them for the time being, but that eventually I might have to get them removed, and so at the time I didn’t think they were a big deal. After all, at that point I had never experienced any symptoms from having them. (In fact, most women with fibroids never experience any symptoms and require no treatment.)

Though my mom dealt with uterine fibroids herself (she had surgery to remove hers when I was younger, but we never really talked about it), my knowledge about the condition was very limited. I didn’t know that you are more at risk of developing fibroids if you have a family member who also has them. I also didn’t know that fibroids are more common and severe in African American women than those of other ethnicities.

A few years later, I started experiencing exhaustion and heavy periods.

Though I’m now a Pilates instructor, at the time I was a restaurant manager working 12-hour shifts. I was experiencing exhaustion, heavy periods, and just an overall feeling of heaviness. I looked bloated, and if I touched my belly it literally felt hard. I wondered if maybe the symptoms I was experiencing were because of my long shifts, but deep down I knew I had to go visit a doctor.

When I went to the doctor, I discovered I had about eight or nine fibroids and that my uterus was the size of someone who was about three months pregnant. The fibroids had also caused me to become anemic, which is what I suspect was causing my exhaustion at the time.

In 2013, I scheduled the surgery to have them removed, and when I went in, what was supposed to be about a 90-minute surgery turned into a three-hour surgery and two days in the hospital.

When the doctors went in to remove the fibroids, they discovered that there were more fibroids than my initial scans had picked up. They tried to remove as many as they could, but I lost a lot of blood and had to get a blood transfusion.

In the end, the doctors told me they couldn’t get to all of them, especially the ones that were embedded very deep in my uterus,