Harris charts her own course as vice-president amid intense scrutiny | Kamala Harris

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Earlier this month, Kamala Harris convened the inaugural meeting of the National Space Council, an important summit that brought together cabinet secretaries and top space and military officials in the sun-drenched atrium of the US Institute of Peace. Over the course of nearly two hours, the vice-president engaged the panel in discussion with real, earthly implications for national security, the climate crisis and workforce development.

But attention in Washington was diverted elsewhere. At the supreme court, the justices were weighing the future of abortion rights. Republicans in Congress were threatening a government shutdown over their opposition to Covid-19 mask mandates. And as Harris spoke, public health experts confirmed the first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the US.

Such is the challenge of Harris’s mission: a historic first navigating an inescapably secondary…

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