REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS AFTER RECEIVING THE SECOND DOSE OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE
National Institutes of Health
3:53 P.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, so I’ve had the vaccine, and it really was painless — relatively painless. But I want to thank everyone here at NIH for all you do.
As you said — so, growing up, my mother — our mother — would go — we always knew that Mommy was going to this place called “Bethesda.” I didn’t — “Mommy is going to Bethesda.” Now, we were living in California; my mother would go to Bethesda. And, of course, what she was doing is she was coming here to NIH.
And she was in the biochemical endocrinology study section. She was a peer-reviewer. And my mother had two goals in her life: to raise her two daughters and end breast cancer. In fact, a little-known fact: My first job was cleaning pipettes in my mother’s lap. She would take us there with her after school and on weekends.
And I grew up then around science in a way that was taught to me by someone who was so profoundly passionate about a gift — which is the gift that scientists give to us — in that their whole reason for being is to see what can be unburdened by what has been. Their whole reason for being is to pursue what is possible for the sake of improving human life and condition. It is such a noble pursuit.
And the importance of NIH is that this is about an essential function of government, which is to provide for the public health. The work that happens here has one goal: to improve public health. And the importance of the pursuit of the work that happens at NIH is it’s not about profit; it’s about the people.
And so I want to everyone who works here: I know
who you are. (Laughs.) I know what you do. I know that you work around the clock with those experiments that have to be checked on every few hours, and they don’t care about what time it is on the clock. I know the work you do and the collaboration that is required. I know the work that you do reviewing grants — because, of course, some of the most significant scientific research have been publicly funded. That’s what my mother did; she reviewed grants.
And so I have the luxury of being here at this moment, on just the fifth day of our administration, coming full circle. Because, you see, NIH was such a huge part of my youth as this place that my mother went all the time and was very excited to work.
So I want to thank everyone for all you’re doing. So now, to the vaccine.
NIH — these scientists, these medical professionals, doing the work of pursuing what is in the interest of the public health, have been a big part of the vaccine that I just took. They — through the research, through the dedication — created something that will save your life and the life of your family and the community.
And so I want to urge everyone to take the vaccine when it is your turn. It is really pretty painless, and it will save your life. So thanks to all who are doing this great and important work. Let’s make sure everyone gets a vaccine.
On behalf of President Biden and myself, I thank you for everything you do every day. And the bottom line is that we’re going to get 100 million vaccination in 100 days. And then we’re going to continue to do what is necessary to improve the health and wellbeing of our country. So thank you all, very much.
Thank you, Dr. Fauci. Thank you again.
END 3:57 P.M. EST