Vice President Kamala Harris said in a televised address on Wednesday night that even in moments of historic turmoil, Americans do not stop trying to improve their country, and she implored the nation to have “the courage to see beyond crisis.”
Ms. Harris, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, where 400 lights signified the 400,000 Americans who have died of the coronavirus, emphasized that she remained hopeful because of “American aspiration,” and the innovation she saw from doctors, teachers, parents and others who were working to get through the moment’s challenges.
Like President Biden, who spoke minutes before her from inside the Lincoln Memorial, Ms. Harris compared the threat of the coronavirus pandemic to two crises in two previous centuries: the Civil War and the civil rights movement.
“Even in dark times, we not only dream, we do,” Ms. Harris said. She said that in those pivotal moments of American history, Abraham Lincoln “saw a better future and built it,” and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “fought for racial justice and economic justice.”
To meet the moment, she said, Americans must keep “refining,” “tinkering” and “perfecting” the nation, something she said was already happening amid the pandemic.
Mr. Biden has called on Americans “to do what is hard,” she said, “to do what is good, to unite, to believe in ourselves, believe in our country — believe in what we can do together.”
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