US Vice-President Kamala Harris has been criticised for breaking into laughter on a question about the fate of Ukrainian refugees. The inappropriate moment occurred at a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw on Thursday.
A reporter asked Harris whether the United States will take in Ukrainian refugees and President Duda “if you asked the United States to specifically accept more refugees?”
Before answering, Harris looked at the Polish President to see if he would like to respond first. “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” she said from the podium before laughing for several seconds.
Kamala Harris Had Another Laughing Incident in Poland pic.twitter.com/5kvpg62uRG
— Ionic Minerals (@spirit2012) March 10, 2022
Duda then started responding, confirming that Poland has indeed asked Harris to help speed up the consular process for the Ukrainian refugees.
Harris said the two leaders discussed the burden on Poland due to the influx of Ukrainian refugees, but did not answer whether the US will take in a certain number of refugees.
But critics hammered the US Vice-President on Twitter, saying the topic was no laughing matter. “Utterly inappropriate and unacceptable. What is there to laugh???” a user posted on Twitter.
“Kamala Harris has been very consistent during her live remarks with Poland’s leader. She is awkwardly laughing. Again,” said George Papadopoulos, author and former member of the foreign policy advisory panel to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Kamala Harris has been very consistent during her live remarks with Poland’s leader. She is awkwardly laughing. Again.
— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) March 10, 2022
“Probably should stifle the laughing on stage when talking about a humanitarian crisis we haven’t seen in 80 years,” said another user on Twitter.
Probably should stifle the laughing on stage when talking about a humanitarian crisis we haven’t seen in 80 years.
— Chris Schaeffler (@schaefflerc) March 10, 2022
This is not the first time that Harris was caught laughing at inappropriate moments. When reporters asked her about the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan last year, Harris cut them off giggling and saying, “Hold on, hold on – slow down, everybody.”
About 1.43 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland since the Russian invasion began on February 24. Over that same time, more than 291,081 Ukrainians have fled to Romania.
In total, more than 2.3 million people have fled Ukraine as of March 10, according to the United Nations, which has warned that up to five million people could flee. That would make it the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War.