Harris acknowledges ‘level of malaise’ in America 2 years into pandemic

Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged Thursday that there is a “level of malaise” in the U.S. nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent months, the Biden administration has come under fire amid a spike in coronavirus cases and a shortage of COVID-19 tests. These issues have plagued the White House despite then-candidate Joe Biden’s pledge in 2020 to “beat this virus” and “get it under control.”

While interviewing Harris on Thursday, “PBS NewsHour” host Judy Woodruff appeared to allude to some of the administration’s woes.

“The Biden-Harris agenda, in the beginning, a year ago, got off to a strong start, but it’s obviously stalled. Right now, the president’s approval ratings have taken a dramatic hit,” Woodruff said.

“Did you try to do too much?” she asked the vice president.

Harris tried to strike a tone of optimism.

“Last year, we created six million new jobs. Last year, we brought unemployment down to, I believe it was 4.2 percent, which the economists, most didn’t believe would happen until at least 2023, 2024,” she said.

“So we have seen great progress. We passed an infrastructure law. People have been — both parties, as administrations, have been talking about doing for generations. There has been great progress,” Harris added.

Then, the vice president admitted that many Americans are experiencing a “level of malaise” after almost two years of a pandemic.

“No doubt, COVID, for example, I mean, we’re all — well, everybody is frustrated with that,” she said. “And I understand and I fully appreciate there is a level of malaise. We’re two years into this thing. People are — we want to get back to normal. We all do.”

Fox News drew parallels between Harris’ “malaise” line and comments made by former President Jimmy Carter in 1979 amid economic and energy crises.

“The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will,” Carter said in what later became known as the “malaise” speech.

“We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation,” he added. “The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.”