Biden Refers to 'President Harris'; In December, He Called Her 'President-Elect'

Susan Jones | March 19, 2021 | 5:16am EDT
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President Joe Biden, flanked by Vice Presidente Kamala Harris, speaks about the the national vaccination effort at the White House on March 18, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks about the the national vaccination effort at the White House on March 18, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Speaking at the White House Thursday with Kamala Harris standing nearby but out of camera range, President Joe Biden promoted the vice president to president, unintentionally:

"Now when President Harris and I took a virtual tour of a vaccination center in Arizona not long ago, one of the nurses on that--on that tour injecting people, giving vaccinations, said that each shot was like administering a dose of hope. A dose of hope, that's how she phrased it. Behind these 100 million shots are millions of lives changed when people receive that dose of hope," Biden said.

Biden made the gaffe while announcing that as of Friday, "we will have met my goal of administering 100 million shots to our fellow Americans" (in 100 days). "That's weeks ahead of schedule, and even with the setbacks we faced during the winter storms. And it was another big step on the path to checking the--putting checks in pockets and shots in people's arms," he said.

This is the second time Biden has mistakenly elevated Harris.

In December, while urging the public to get a shot, Biden noted that "President-elect Harris took hers today...."

'Keep wearing the mask...keep socially distanced'

On Thursday, while touting the 100-million-shots benchmark, Biden was nevertheless cautious, saying, "This is a time for optimism, but it's not a time for relaxation.” Later, he gave a similar mixed message: “We're way ahead of schedule. But we got a long way to go.”

“I need all Americans--I need all of you to do your part. Wash your hands, stay socially distanced, keep masking up as recommended by the CDC, and get vaccinated when it's your turn."

Biden also repeated his hope that "small groups" will be "able to gather for cookouts in back yards" on the 4th of July (as if that isn't already happening):

Now's not the time to let down our guard. In the last week we've seen increases in the number of cases in several states. Scientists have made clear that things may get worse as new variants of this virus spread. Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants.

While millions of people are vaccinated, we need millions more to be vaccinated. And again, I need you to get vaccinated when it come--when it's your turn, when you're able to do that. I need your help. I need you to help. Not just the country, but your family, your friends, your neighbors. Get them vaccinated as well.

If we keep our guard up, stick together, and stick with the science we can look forward to a fourth of July that feels a bit more normal, with small groups able to gather for cookouts in back yards. And when we be--where we begin to declare our independence on Independence Day from the virus. Look, together--together we're gonna come through this stronger, with renewed faith in each other, and our government that fulfills its most important function: protecting the American people.

I'm gonna be clear again: wearing this mask in the meantime. Making sure you wash your hands. Making sure you socially distance and listen to the CDC. We've got to reach the point where we have herd immunity, meaning where we have a vast sig--majority of the American people have been vaccinated before we can stop wearing these. So please, please don't let what happen you see happening in Europe, that you see on television.

Keep the faith. Keep wearing the mask. Keep washing your hands. And keep socially distanced. We're gonna beat this. We're way ahead of schedule. But we got a long way to go. I just wanted to bring you up to date.

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