After a long scramble to fill time on live television, Harris eventually appeared, but only for about eight minutes and from a remote location rather than in the New York studio. Harris touched briefly on several newsy issues — coronavirus vaccinations, conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border and abortion laws — and she worked in a “big announcement” about $1.2 billion in funding for school broadband.
But the vice president’s appearance on the popular show seemed likely to be remembered not for what she said but for all that transpired before she said it.
The show had just returned from its first break, after an opening “Hot Topics” segment, when two of the day’s four co-hosts, Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro, were hustled off the set without explanation.
Upon returning from an unscheduled commercial break, co-host Joy Behar explained that while both Hostin and Navarro were vaccinated, they had tested positive for the coronavirus, and the show would continue without them.
Harris apparently was already on-site, but the news of the positive test sent her staff and “The View” producers scrambling to figure out if and how they could still do the interview.
For multiple segments, Behar and Sara Haines, the other remaining co-host, killed time by taking questions from the audience. They were asked about their favorite guests, anywhere else in the world they might want to be, shows they’d like to see on Broadway ad even gave some marriage advice.
In the midst of all that, Behar explained that they would try to conduct the Harris interview, but with the vice president appearing in another room.
“They don’t want to take a chance of her being on the set,” Behar explained.
After returning from yet another commercial break, with only about 20 minutes left in the broadcast, Behar said their featured guest still wasn’t ready.
“Unfortunately we don’t have Kamala yet,” she said. “The Secret Service is doing things to make her feel very safe.”
When Harris eventually did appear, the first topic was what they all had collectively experienced.
“Sunny and Ana are strong women, and I know they’re fine, but it really also does speak to the fact that they’re vaccinated, and vaccines really make all the difference,” Harris said, relaying that she would fear for their health far more if they weren’t vaccinated.
Harris also put in a plug for Americans to get the vaccine, pointing to the large number of people who have had relatives die in the hospital.
“Don’t put your family through that,” Harris said. “The vaccine is free, it is safe, and it will save your life. So folks just need to get vaccinated.”
Fielding questions from Behar and Haines, Harris also touched on viral images of Border Patrol agents on horses aggressively confronting Haitian immigrants at the southern border.
“I was outraged by it,” Harris said. “It was horrible and deeply troubling. … There needs to be consequence and accountability. Human beings should not be treated that way.”
“It also evoked images of some of the worst moments of our history,” Harris added, referring to the past treatment of Indigenous and enslaved peoples.
Harris also defended the Biden administration’s exit from Afghanistan and was given “66 seconds” by Behar to comment on the abortion law in Texas and other restrictive statutes.
“We are going to stand together and fight for women’s constitutional rights to make decisions about their own bodies,” Harris said to applause.
“Please come back,” Behar pleaded as the show wrapped up. “We want you back.”