This past Wednesday Kamala Harris welcomed Prime Minister Andrew “not his holiness” Holness of Jamaica to the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The White House has posted the transcript here and the video on YouTube here.
To adapt Jackson Browne’s beautiful song to Harris’s performance, “Jamaica, say you will help me find a way to fill these empty words.” Or perhaps, “Jamaica, say you will help me find a way to fill your empty coffers.”
Reviewing the video, I see that Harris had a text in front of her. She was not speaking extemporaneously. This deep thought was somehow premeditated: “We take very seriously our membership in the Western Hemisphere, and we are acutely aware of the interconnection and interdependence between the United States and Jamaica.”
Is “membership” in the Western Hemisphere a thing? How are we “interdependent” with Jamaica? What are you talking about?
We can be grateful that Harris did not have to explain what she was talking about as she continued (clip below):
We also recognize — just as it has been in the United States — for Jamaica, one of the issues that has been presented as an issue that is economic in the way of its impact has been the pandemic.
So, to that end, we are announcing today also that we will assist Jamaica in COVID recovery by assisting in terms of the recovery efforts in Jamaica that have been essential to, I believe, what is necessary to strengthen not only the issue of public health, but also the economy.
Thinking of “strengthening issues,” whatever that means, I wonder what might be necessary to strengthen the issue of mental health.