OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Vice President Kamala Harris broke out in her trademark, uncomfortable laughter when she was asked Thursday if the United States planned on making space for Ukrainian refugees as she met with foreign leaders in Poland to discuss the ongoing Russian invasion.
Both Harris and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda were asked about whether the U.S. would be accepting a greater number of Ukrainian refugees, with the VP giggling awkwardly before Duda actually took the time to answer what was a serious question, given that many of the 2 million Ukrainians who have fled the fighting are currently in his country, The Daily Wire reported, adding:
“A friend in need is a friend indeed,” Harris said with a smile before a more somber Duda said he had asked the U.S. vice president to help speed up the process for Ukrainian refugees with family in the U.S. to be able to head to America.
“We are looking for international support because indeed the vast majority of Ukrainian refugees are coming to our country,” Duda said, though Harris did not commit the U.S. to take in a certain number of Ukrainians trying to escape the war.
That said, Harris did note that Ukrainians who are currently in the United States and may have visas that are set to expire soon could remain in America for the time being.
“We will not send them back tow hat is a war zone,” she said.
She also committed the Biden administration to assist Poland.
“As we have said many times through our work collectively in the UN through NATO, we will support Poland in terms of the burden it is facing and our collective responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of these refugees,” Harris said.
Many on social media slammed Harris over her response:
Only Kamala Harris would find it appropriate to laugh when talking about the topic of Ukrainian Refugees.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 10, 2022
Nothing about any of this is funny. https://t.co/2AFDgQFTLo
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) March 10, 2022
Kamala Harris has been very consistent during her live remarks with Poland’s leader. She is awkwardly laughing. Again.
— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) March 10, 2022
In an interview with Fox News in June, The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway noted Harris laughs nervously when she gets questions from the media that are tough or that she isn’t prepared to adequately answer, such as the migrant crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, which President Biden put her in charge of solving.
“You are wondering, does she have a handle on this, and then she does that thing where she laughs nervously when she gets the slightest difficulty or a question or topic and it is making a lot of Americans nervous to see how nervous she is about not being able to handle the thing she was tasked with, which is the border crisis,” Hemingway said.
The White House explained the purpose of Harris’ trip in a statement.
“During her trip to Warsaw, Poland, today, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced nearly $53 million in new humanitarian assistance from the United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to support innocent civilians affected by Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine,” the statement said.
“This additional assistance includes support to the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide lifesaving emergency food assistance to meet immediate needs of hundreds of thousands affected by the invasion, including people who are displaced from their homes and who are crossing the border out of Ukraine. In addition, it will support WFP’s logistics operations to move assistance into Ukraine, including to people in Kyiv,” the White House added.
“The United States is the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and has provided $159 million in overall humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since October 2020, including nearly $107 million in the past two weeks in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This includes food, safe drinking water, shelter, emergency health care, and winterization services to communities affected by ongoing fighting,” the statement continued.
“To date, two million people have been forced to flee Ukraine due to the conflict, and an estimated one million are displaced inside Ukraine. At least 12 million people are in need of humanitarian aid across Ukraine. The United States continues to stand with the people of Ukraine and will continue to work to meet immediate needs and save lives,” the White House noted further.