NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Vice President Kamala Harris spent much of Friday in New Jersey.
At a vaccination center, Harris learned about 85% of people in Essex County have their first COVID shot while a little over 70% have received both shots.READ MORE: Human Remains Found In California Identified As Missing New Jersey Woman Lauren Cho
Harris said she was proud of New Jersey for being one of the states leading on that front and also being a state that prioritizes affordable child care.
As CBS2’s Cory James reports, Harris stepped off the plane in the Garden State, greeting Gov. Phil Murphy and first lady Tammy Murphy on the tarmac.
Her first stop during her visit was Montclair State University, stopping by Ben Samuels Children’s Center on the campus to meet with teachers and students.
One bright-eyed little boy had just learned the number eight and used his new skill to connect with the vice president.
“Are you 8 years old?” he asked.
“I’m a little bit more than 8 years old. Just a little,” Harris replied.
After a game of bingo, the vice president led a roundtable conversation with parents and elected officials on the importance of federal investment in child care.
“We have families here paying 20, 30, 40% of their income on child care,” Rep. Mikie Sherill said.
“No one should pay any more than 5-7% on child care, especially when you look at other obligations like putting food on the table and paying rent,” Harris said.READ MORE: More Than $10,000 Worth Of Handbags Stolen From Christian Louboutin Store In Manhattan
Back in April, President Joe Biden released $39 billion to help struggling child care providers and families who need affordable care for their kids.
Harris commended Murphy for being a national leader who put $100 million from the American Rescue Plan to make quality education possible for all children.
“This is long overdue as one of the highest priorities of our public policy,” Harris said.
“The pandemic clobbered us, clobbered families and working moms. So we intensified our efforts and put a lot more money into affordability on one hand for families and helping our centers reopen,” Murphy said. “And we’re going to continue on that journey … Move the needle in the very first few years of life of our precious kids, it could have multiple impacts on their lives.”
And the journey for them continued in Essex County, with both the governor and vice president visiting a vaccination center at Essex County College as people got their shots.
“You may get sick, but you won’t die,” one patient said to Harris.
“You know, I say this is an expression of love thy neighbor,” Harris said.
Love was also shown at the Newark bakery Tonnie’s Minis, where the vice president took pictures and set her eyes on sweet treats before ending her trip.
Sen. Cory Booker recommended Tonnie’s Minis to the vice president.
As for protesters during her visit, there was a group across the street from the vaccination center, demanding a path to citizenship in the Biden spending bill.MORE NEWS: Student, 14, Arrested With Loaded Handgun At Brooklyn High School
Editor’s note: This story was first published Oct. 8.