ONLY ON 5: Kamala Harris talks COVID-19, the economy and more ahead of the election

Michael Williams speaks exclusively with Democratic vice presidential candidate
Posted at 7:14 PM, Oct 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-01 00:45:57-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Amid a whirlwind campaign schedule, I interviewed California Sen. Kamala Harris before she took the stage for a drive-in rally at Palm Beach State College.

The Democratic vice presidential candidate talked about the Joe Biden-Harris strategy in the ongoing fight against a resurgent COVID-19 virus.

"Joe and I are going to do a number of things," Harris said. "One, we are going to encourage the behaviors around wearing masks. We're going to institute what is already a plan that we have for national testing and treatment and when, God willing, we get a vaccine, distribution of that for free. We're going to put in place the plan we have for national implementation of contact tracing, and, also, what we need to do to provide federal assistance to small businesses so they can reopen and rehire in a safe way."

Supporters of President Donald Trump gathered on the perimeter of the event Saturday.

One of them told me she did not want to see "socialism" here.

I asked Harris about the charge that a vote for the Biden-Harris ticket is a vote for socialism.

"Joe Biden and I are very proud, patriotic Americans," Harris said. "We love our country."

Michael Williams interviews Kamala Harris on Halloween 2020
WPTV NewsChannel 5 anchor Michael Williams speaks to Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris during an exclusive interview before a rally at Palm Beach State College, Oct. 31, 2020, in Lake Worth Beach, Fla.

She went on to note, "The people of our country want a president who embraces fact, who embraces science, who talks to the American people honestly about the nature of the virus and then implements a plan for actually stemming its tide and the harm it has caused for so many families."

Harris also talked about health-care access.

She once embraced Medicare for all. Now she does not because Biden wants an expansion of the existing Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Her critics said she flip-flopped on a proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders and other Democratic progressives to eventually end private health-care coverage.

She said that is not the case.

Kamala Harris touches on pandemic, health care

"We will expand the Affordable Care Act and coverage," Harris told me. "We'll bring down the cost of prescription drugs and premiums. We'll also bring down eligibility for Medicare to age 60."

I asked her if private insurance stays.

"Private insurance stays and people have a public option," she said.

Those closing arguments were made from a candidate poised to make history or watch it be made by the Trump-Mike Pence campaign.

As always, voters will write those closing chapters to decision 2020.