U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband delivered two baskets of cookies to essential healthcare workers at the VA Medical Center in Washington on Saturday. (Feb. 13)
The claim: VP Kamala Harris said veterans should ‘get a job’
Social media users are sharing a controversial criticism of veterans that has been falsely attributed to Vice President Kamala Harris. The quote argues that the Biden administration will defund the Department of Veterans Affairs in favor of supporting refugee families and asylum seekers.
“So here’s a message to the soldier boys. Get a job,” the post ends.
A Facebook user posted the quote and false attribution on Feb. 11, and it’s made its way across platforms to Twitter in recent days.
USA TODAY reached out to several users who posted the misattributed quote and has yet to receive a response.
No evidence Harris ever said that
Throughout her career, Harris has been a proponent of decreased military spending and increased aid to veterans and their families.
During Harris’ presidential campaign, she released a plan to expand Veteran Affairs health care and housing benefits to veterans that received other-than-honorable discharges for misconduct related to post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
“This is for me about seeing the veteran in the complexity of your life. You have done so much for your country, and we owe you that we will see you in the full dimension of the life that you live,” she said at a Sept. 7, 2019, campaign event, according to CNN.
Denis McDonough is sworn in as the new Veteran Affairs Secretary by Vice President Kamala Harris. (Feb. 9)
Biden administration shows support for veterans
Since taking office, the Biden administration has pushed measures to increase support for veterans. Like Harris, President Joe Biden has also backed veterans throughout his career.
Biden introduced the American Rescue Plan on Inauguration Day, which requested $20 billion to aid the Veterans Health Administration in covering increased costs associated with COVID-19.
On Jan. 22, Biden signed an executive order asking the “Department of Veterans Affairs to consider pausing federal collections on overpayments and debts” to “help approximately 2 million veterans maintain their financial footing.”
USA TODAY has previously debunked fake anti-veteran quotes that social media users had falsely attributed to Harris.
Our rating: False
We rate the claim that Vice President Kamala Harris authored a viral quote urging veterans to “Get a job” FALSE because it is not supported by our research. There is no record of Harris ever making this statement, which contradicts her stance on veteran assistance and the Biden administration’s recent actions in support of veterans.
Our fact-check sources:
- Twitter, Kamala Harris, accessed Feb. 15, Twitter search
- Facebook, Kamala Harris, accessed Feb. 15, Facebook search
- Military.com, Aug. 12, 2020, “Biden’s VP Pick Opposes Boosting Defense Spending, But Supports Helping Vets and Families“
- CNN, Sept. 7, 2019, “Harris releases plan to give VA benefits to veterans with less-than-honorable discharges and reverse military transgender ban“
- WhiteHouse.gov, Jan. 20, “President Biden Announces American Rescue Plan“
- WhiteHouse.gov, Jan. 22, “Fact Sheet: President Biden’s New Executive Actions Deliver Economic Relief for American Families and Businesses Amid the COVID-19 Crises“
- USA TODAY, Aug. 24, 2020, “Fact check: Fake Kamala Harris quote that ‘our military are soulless cowards’ is from satire site“
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