FACT CHECK: Did Kamala Harris Say Americans ‘Aren’t Equipped To Make These Decisions For Themselves’?

Dominick Porcella | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook claims Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said, “The American people aren’t equipped to make these decisions for themselves.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Harris made the statement. It appears to be a misrepresentation of a comment Harris made during the vice presidential debate.

Fact Check:

Shortly after the first and only vice presidential debate between Harris and Vice President Mike Pence on Oct. 7, some Facebook users shared the claim that Harris said, “The American people aren’t equipped to make these decisions for themselves.” However, a review of USA Today’s transcript of the debate shows that Harris did not make the statement attributed to her in such posts.

The posts appear to misrepresent a comment Harris made during the debate. In response to Pence saying that he and President Donald Trump “trust the American people to make choices in the best interest of their health,” Harris argued that the Trump administration “stood on information” that people need to protect themselves from COVID-19, the debate transcript shows.

“This administration stood on information that if you had as a parent, if you had as a worker knowing you didn’t have enough money saved up, and now you’re standing in a food line because of the ineptitude of administration that was unwilling to speak the truth to the American people,” Harris said. “So let’s talk about caring about the American people. The American people who have had to sacrifice far too much because of the incompetence of this administration.”

“It is asking too much of the people, that they would not be equipped with the information they need to help themselves to protect their parents and their children,” Harris added, per the transcript. (RELATED: Did Kamala Harris Call Joe Biden ‘Trash’?)

Check Your Fact didn’t find any instance of Harris making the comment elsewhere. Searching her social media profiles and ProPublica’s archive of her deleted tweets yielded no matches for the quote attributed to her in the Facebook post. The remark also doesn’t appear in press releases available on her Senate website or in public statements on the video clip editing service Grabien.

Dominick Porcella



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