GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Caroline) – We follow the VP throughout the day on her trip to Greenville, SC, following the latest updates on her visit.
At 10:05 am, the Vice President traveled to Greenville, SC. Officials say she departed from Joint Base Andrews and arrived at Greenville-Spartanburg International.
At around noon, the vice president delivered remarks at a COVID-19 vaccination mobilization event at the Phillis Wheatley Community Center, officials said. In addition to Vice President Brenda Murphy, Reverend JM Flemming and Dr. Linda Bell spoke at the event.
The Vice President’s full speech is available below:
Robert Morris, Aiken, introduced the vice-president. He is the president of the NAACP South Carolina Youth and College Division. Morris said he only had a few days to prepare.
“When I was told I would introduce the vice president, I was excited, nervous, anxious — all of the above, but overall the dominant emotion is excitement,” Morris said.
The Greenville Chapter of the NAACP earlier confirmed that Vice President Kamala Harris will visit the Phillis Wheatley Community Center during her visit to Greenville to promote COVID-19 vaccines.
Flemming explained why he thinks the vice president chose Greenville as his stop.
“If you want to tackle the problems, you have to come to Greenville. Greenville has less than 38.8% of the people vaccinated. So we know that there are 62% of the people who are not vaccinated here in Greenville County. And so, we are honored that she is there to encourage people to go out and get the shot, to get the shot, ”Flemming said.
Flemming dispelled some of the misinformation about the vaccine during his speech. For example, he brought up some of the fear that black people have about the vaccine due to the Tuskegee experience involving 600 black men without their consent. He explained that we are in 2021, and it is not Tuskegee. Flemming also says that African Americans are dying at a higher rate than other ethnicities, so he hopes Harris’s visit will encourage more people to get vaccinated.
“Look, I’m overflowing with gratitude right now with her coming to Greenville for this kickoff,” Flemming continues. “Just some gravy for us. We’re honored that she’s here.”
Greenville’s NACCP says its vaccination clinic at the community center will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“We want to see the floodgates open and people rush to get these vaccines,” Flemming said. “We want to have more people than we can give at this event.”
Courtney McClain, of Spartanburg, was also in the audience at the Phyllis Wheatley Center. She says she was inspired by Harris and has volunteered for his campaign in the past. McClain says she plans to run for office in the future.
“With her coming, it might also push black women to get vaccinated as well and other minorities; because I think it is very important for us to get vaccinated – especially with, how bad the vaccination season is. is early, how they were saying we were more at risk. So I think with her being here, having her representing us and other people who are not POCs, it will be an encouragement that the vaccine is safe. McClain said.
McClain says she thinks most people think the vaccine is unsafe or will give them side effects, and thinks Harris’s visit will clarify that.
“The upstate is sort of the part of South Carolina that needs the push the most,” McClain said.
Eddie Parks of Spartanburg was also in the audience. He thinks part of the reluctance of African Americans comes from misinformation.
“Well, first of all, we have to give them the correct information. The data that proves the vaccine is safe and effective,” Parks said.
Parks hopes some people have changed their minds.
The vice president also visited a COVID-19 pop-up vaccination site at the Caine Halter Family YMCA around 1:15 p.m.
Vice President Harris attended a meeting on voting rights during her visit to Greenville, according to a statement from the vice president’s office.
The meeting was also attended by Suliman Ahmad of the South Carolina Justice Project, Elias Valentin II, a voting rights advocate, and Rev. Telley Lynnette Gadson of Saint Mark United Baptist Church, the statement said.
Vice President Harris’s office said the group discussed how advocates register voters and how to strengthen the electoral infrastructure while expanding voting rights through legislation.
The meeting was the first meeting the vice president held “on the ground” on the issue of voting rights, according to a statement from her office.
The vice president left Greenville shortly after the meeting.
PREVIOUSLY: Will the Vice President’s visit to Greenville speed up vaccination efforts?
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