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Kamala Harris says US must ‘reduce population’ to fight climate change in latest gaffe

Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday called on the US to “reduce population” in an effort to combat climate change, but she meant to say “reduce pollution,” according to the White House. 

The shocking gaffe happened as the 58-year-old vice president delivered remarks at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Md., on the need to build a “clean energy economy.” 

“When we invest in clean energy and electric vehicles and reduce population, more of our children can breathe clean air and drink clean water,” Harris said, eliciting applause from the audience. 

The official White House transcript of her speech acknowledges and corrects Harris’ disquieting error. 

In the transcript, “population” is crossed out and “pollution” is added in brackets to denote what the VP intended to say.

The slip-up happened during remarks given by Harris at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Md.
AFP via Getty Images

The correction, which indicates that investing in clean energy and reducing pollution (rather than the population) would help provide clean air and water for the country.
The correction, which indicates that investing in clean energy and reducing pollution (rather than the population) would help provide clean air and water for the country.
WH.GOV

The slip-up alarmed many on the right on Twitter.

“Are you the population she wants to reduce?” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) remarked in a tweet

“Wait, what?” Josiah Neeley, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute think tank, said of the vice president’s eyebrow raising remark

Harris, whom a recent poll found to be one of the most unpopular vice president’s in US history, has a history of making head-scratching remarks as President Biden’s right-hand woman. 

Earlier this month she gave a repetitive definition of the word “culture” at a music festival in New Orleans that drew mockery on social media. 

“Culture is — it is a reflection of our moment in our time, right? And in present culture is the way we express how we’re feeling about the moment,” Harris said, in part, at the Essence Festival of Culture in the Caesars Superdome.

And just this week, Harris stumbled and struggled to define what artificial intelligence is, serving up a word salad during a meeting with labor union and civil rights leaders.


The White House lawn
The slip-up occurred after similarly confusing remarks given by Harris on AI, which occurred during a meeting with labor union and civil rights leaders.
REUTERS

“I think the first part of this issue that should be articulated is AI is kind of a fancy thing,” Harris said on Wednesday. “First of all, it’s two letters. It means artificial intelligence, but ultimately what it is, is it’s about machine learning.”

Harris was also ridiculed in April after she went on a puzzling digression during an abortion rights rally, speaking about the “moment” in time the country is in. 

“So I think it’s very important — as you have heard from so many incredible leaders for us at every moment in time and certainly this one — to see the moment in time in which we exist and are present, and to be able to contextualize it, to understand where we exist in the history and in the moment as it relates not only to the past but the future,” she said.

White House officials are reportedly concerned about Harris’ becoming “a drag on the ticket” as the 2024 election looms, according to Axios, but senior adviser Anita Dunn has directed staff members to schedule more events for the unpopular vice president.

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