Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) faced off in their only vice presidential debate, with moderator Susan Page from USA Today in charge of the proceedings before a small masked audience on Oct. 7.
Pence slammed Harris over her remarks on refusing to take a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus vaccine (COVID-19) if one becomes available, and the president recommends doing so.
“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,” Harris said. “But if Donald Trump tells us we should take it, I’m not taking it.”
— The Hill (@thehill) October 8, 2020
Pence heatedly replied that Harris is continuing to “undermine public confidence in a vaccine,” and in doing so is putting people’s lives at risk.
“The reality is that we’re going to have a vaccine, senator, in record time, in unheard-of time, in less than a year. We have five companies in phase 3 clinical trials, and we’re right now producing tens of millions of doses,” Pence said.
“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,” he said.
Pence continued, “Senator, I just ask you, stop playing politics with people’s lives. The reality is that we will have a vaccine we believe before the end of this year. And it will have the capacity to save countless American lives, and your continuous undermining of confidence in a vaccine is just, it’s just unacceptable.”
Pence reminded viewers that during the swine flu pandemic that occurred during the Obama administration, even Biden’s former chief of staff, Ron Klain was critical of the government’s inadequate response to the H1N1 virus.
“And let me also say, you know, the reality is when you talk about failure in this administration, we actually do know what failure looks like in a pandemic. It was 2009. The swine flu arrived in the United States,” Pence said.
“Thankfully, it was, ended up not being as lethal as the coronavirus. But before the end of the year, 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.
If the swine flu had been as lethal as the coronavirus, in 2009, when Joe Biden was vice president, we would’ve lost 2 million American lives.
“His own chief of staff, Ron Klain, would say last year that it was pure luck. They did ‘everything possible wrong.’ And we learned from that,” he added.
As reported by TheBlaze, in a 2019 Politico article, Klain said of the swine flu, “It is purely a fortuity that this isn’t one of the great mass casualty events in American history.”
“It had nothing to do with us doing anything right. It just had to do with luck. If anyone thinks that this can’t happen again, they don’t have to go back to 1918, they just have to go back to 2009, 2010, and imagine a virus with a different lethality, and you can just do the math on that,” Klain said.
Last month, after telling CNN host Dana Bash during an interview, that President Trump was not to be trusted to approve a vaccine, Harris was criticized for spreading a vaccine “conspiracy theory.”
“Let’s just say there is a vaccine that is approved and even distributed before the election. Would you get it?” Bash asked.
“Well, I think that’s gonna be an issue for all of us,” Harris responded. “I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump, and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about. I will not take his word for it,” replied Harris.