Social Media Posts Misrepresent Kamala Harris Error

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Quick Take

While announcing an investment in clean energy programs, Vice President Kamala Harris mistakenly said “reduce population” when she meant “reduce pollution.” Online posts shared a video of the gaffe and misleadingly claimed “her goal is to reduce population to fight climate change.” The transcript of her remarks shows the mistake and corrects it.


Full Story

As the final stop on the Biden administration’s so-called “Investing in America” tour, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke on July 14 at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland. While there, Harris announced a $20 billion investment in clean energy initiatives.

Vice President Kamala Harris announces a $20 billion investment in clean energy projects as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Photo by Saul Loeb via Getty Images.

During her speech, Harris said, “When we invest in clean energy and electric vehicles and reduce population, more of our children can breathe clean air and drink clean water.”

The official White House transcript shows Harris misspoke. She had intended to say “reduce pollution,” not “reduce population.” The transcript provides this correction in brackets alongside the original wording, which is crossed out.

But some social media posts have spread the video of her mistake without mentioning the correction.

One post shared the video with a caption that read, “Watch: Kamala Harris Admits Her Goal Is To REDUCE POPULATION To Fight ‘Climate Change.’ END THE CLIMATE INSANITY!”

A comment on that post said, “If they want to reduce population we definitely should start with them.”

Conservative radio show host Joe Pags also posted the video, adding that Harris “wasn’t supposed to say that out loud.”

“Reduce population?” Pags said in the video. “That’s why the push for abortion. That’s why the push for trans ideology. I get it now.”

But Harris merely misspoke.

The conservative New York Post reported on the vice president’s error– calling it a “gaffe”– and acknowledged the White House’s correction.

We reached out to the White House and Harris’ office for comment, but they didn’t respond. A White House official did respond to Lead Stories and confirmed that Harris meant to say “pollution.”


Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.

Sources

Malashenko, Uliana. “Fact Check: Kamala Harris Did NOT Suggest That ‘Reducing Population’ Is Climate Change Movement’s Goal On July 14, 2023 — She Meant ‘Reduce Pollution.’” Lead Stories. 17 Jul 2023.

Nava, Victor. “Kamala Harris Says U.S. Must ‘Reduce Population’ to Fight Climate Change in Latest Gaffe.” New York Post. 15 Jul 2023.

White House. Press release. “President Biden to Lead Investing in America Blitz Highlighting Investments, Jobs, and Manufacturing Boom Driven by Biden Economic Agenda.” 21 Jun 2023.

White House. Transcript. “Remarks by Vice President Harris on Combatting Climate Change and Building a Clean Energy Economy.” 14 Jul 2023.

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