On Thanksgiving, vice president-elect Kamala Harris made some calls to Americans. She spoke with a young Bay Area, California artist and thanked him after a video he made showing him creating a portrait of the vice president-elect went viral. She also called University of Chicago Medical Center Resident Nurse Talisa Hardin to thank her for the work she has been doing on the front lines of our current COVID-19 pandemic.
Hardin testified in May, virtually, before a Coronavirus select subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee, where she spoke about her experience as a nurse in the ICU. She explained how spread thin these major facilities were with the rise in COVID patients and the lack of sufficient protections she and other nurses were receiving to accomplish their very dangerous and important jobs. Specifically, Hardin explained in May that the need for protections were not simply for the nurses and medical staff themselves but were essential to protecting the families of the people taking care of the sick. According to the National Nurses United, both Hardin’s mother and uncle contracted COVID-19, and her uncle is still in the hospital fighting the illness.
Vice president-elect Harris spoke with Hardin thanking her for the work she had done and continues to do, saying she had been reading about her and her work. The video call went for about 15 minutes according to CNN, and Harris discussed the possibility of using the 1950 Defense Production Act to potentially expedite the process of supplying Hardin and others with the supplies they need.
Unlike the current White house squatter, Harris and Biden understand that part of the job of being an elected official is to, at the very least, try and use your position to touch people’s lives and possibly reassure them that you are trying to make things better for them. If you don’t plan on doing that, you can at least tell them you are thankful that they do the work that you are not doing. To contrast Harris’s phone call, just read a little of the long-winded, and mostly self-congratulatory video statement Trump sent to members of the military on Thanksgiving.