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Joy Behar: The View Did 'Everything We Could' to Protect Kamala Harris After Co-Hosts Test Positive for COVID

·3 min read

With just nine minutes left, Vice President Kamala Harris finally appeared on screen during Friday's chaotic live broadcast of The View.

The heavily promoted interview with the country's first female vice president was upended after co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro tested positive for COVID-19. (A producer later told the audience the two were tested again and were negative, but they remained offstage.)

Their initial positive test results came in after the show had begun and only minutes before the vice president was supposed to join them at the table for her first live in-studio interview since taking office.

"I hope that you are in a safe spot right now," Joy Behar said when Harris appeared remotely for a fast-paced round of questions at the very end of the hour. "We did everything we could to make sure that you were safe because we value you so much."

For more on Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro being asked to leave The View set after testing positive for COVID-19 and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

The vice president seemed calm and grateful as the studio audience, who'd expected to see her in person, applauded.

RELATED: Joy Behar Reflects on 23 Seasons at The View: 'I've Gotten in Trouble a Few Times'

Kamala Harris on The View
Kamala Harris on The View

The View

"Sunny and Ana are strong women and I know they're fine," Harris said in her first remarks "It really also does speak to the fact that they're vaccinated, and vaccines make all the difference because otherwise we would be concerned about hospitalization and worse."

Without much time left, Behar asked the vice president about the ongoing pandemic and whether vaccine mandates and restrictions on the unvaccinated ought to be tougher.

RELATED: Florida School Students Won't Be Required to Quarantine After Being Exposed to COVID

Kamala Harris on The View
Kamala Harris on The View

The View

"People got to be responsible," Harris said. "I've been watching, like many of you, with heartache the videos of people who are in an ICU bed who did not get vaccinated pleading with their family members to please get vaccinated."

"Don't put your families through that," she added. "The vaccine is free, it is safe and it will save your life."

Behar's co-host Sara Haines also asked Harris about the disturbing images of Haitian migrants at the Texas border that prompted outrage among lawmakers and an investigation at the Department of Homeland Security.

ANA NAVARRO sunny hostin the view test positive for COVID
ANA NAVARRO sunny hostin the view test positive for COVID

The View Sunny Hostin (left), Ana Navarro

"I was outraged by it. It was horrible and deeply troubling" Harris said. "An investigation is being conducted, which I fully support, and there need to be consequences and accountability."

REALTED: Haiti Earthquake Death Toll Reaches 1,297 as Nation Braces for Flash Floods from Approaching Storm

Of the images that show mounted federal border patrol agents pulling reigns and maneuvering horses near migrants on foot, Harris added, "Human beings should not be treated that way."

She also said the photos "evoked images of some of the worst moments in our history."

Harris reiterated her stance that the U.S. has a responsibility to help the people of Haiti, which has faced political instability, natural disasters and other events that have helped create difficult conditions that so many would want to leave behind in search of a new life in the U.S.

"We've got to do more," Harris said.

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