Vice President Kamala Harris 1-on-1 in Detroit makes vaccination plea

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Detroit urging all Michiganders to get the COVID-19 vaccine. She spoke exclusively with Roop Raj  1-on-1 after a pep rally of sorts to get the message out about vaccinations at the TCF Center.

The vaccination rate in the city of Detroit hovers at about 40 percent. The vice president shared her fears if people don't get the shot.

FOX 2: "You wanted to talk directly to Detroiters. Let's look into the fall. And we know that this Delta variant isn't going anywhere. What are your fears when it comes to what happens in a city that right now has such a low vaccination rate?"

Harris: "To be very candid, my fear is that people will needlessly die. It is just a fact, virtually everyone who is in the hospital right now with COVID-19, is unvaccinated. It is a fact that when we see who has been dying, from COVID-19, virtually all of those people were unvaccinated. The vaccine is safe, it is free and it literally saves lives.

"Some people have said, well, I want to kind of wait and see and give it six months. Well, six months have passed. Go get the shot, roll up your sleeve and get the shot. And it's about you and it's about your neighbor.

"It's about your family members. Not only in terms of the fact that the delta variant is even more transmissible than previous versions of COVID-19, not only because the Delta variant which is increasing, is more  - from what many physicians are saying - more lethal, in terms of its impact. But also it is literally that, your family will miss you. You know, it's not only about what you can transmit. It's about the fact that, I don't think anyone would want that the people they love, would suffer, because they lose somebody they love."

FOX 2: "When you take a look at the hesitation right now, and the numbers in Detroit were hovering at just about 40 percent. Mayor Duggan has said, 'We've got to get that number higher.' Sixty percent of the people watching on the other side of that camera are saying, 'I'm just not sure.' You can help move the meter, you think?"

Harris: "I think that we have to continue to increase the conversation and the priority around vaccinations. And so. I'm here as vice president of the United States in Detroit because the people of Detroit matter. The people of Michigan matter. Every one of those lives. And if it takes the vice president or the president, or whoever to travel around the country, which is what we've been doing, then that's what we'll do. That's what we'll do. It's that important."

FOX 2: "We know the mistrust of the government due to the Flint water crisis is causing some to mistrust the vaccine. How do you help people who have gone through and seeing what happened in Flint, But the government saying things will be okay to believe them this time?"

Harris: "Believe your own physician. Believe your doctor or your kid's pediatrician, who will tell you that the safest thing you can do is get vaccinated. Believe the public health professionals. You can believe at every level, from Dr. Kizzy Corbett, who is a Black woman who helped create the vaccine that is saving lives, to your physician, to the person who works in the health clinic you attend. Believe them."

FOX 2: We heard the nurses. In fact, the nurse who introduced you was pretty spirited and got the crowd riled up. It's going to take first responders and community leaders that you are ordering to go out into their communities and talk about this, right?"

Harris: "I am inspired by our frontline workers, our nurses, our hospital staff, the home health care workers, the people who work in senior centers, who have been - since the beginning of this pandemic - risking their own lives to save the lives of people, they just met,  perfect strangers. I do believe that in this crisis that the heroes among us have been unveiled, including, and in particular, our frontline workers, nurses, and home health care workers who have been leading the charge. And I think we all should follow."

The Republican National Committee released a statement about Harris' visit. It reads: 

"Too busy trying to shore up Gretchen Whitmer’s failing re-election campaign and peddling lies about election integrity efforts, Kamala Harris is ignoring real issues like closing the southern border and re-opening the U.S.-Canadian border. With a majority of states re-opened, it’s time for the Biden-Harris administration to prioritize Michigan small businesses and the tourism industry’s recovery efforts by putting an end to this border crisis."

-- RNC Spokesperson Preya Samsundar