Rep. Clyburn concerned about safety of VP-elect Kamala Harris

by Dr. Barbara Reynolds
For New Pittsburgh Courier

(—Amidst post-election strife that has reached historic levels, U. S. Rep. James Clyburn, (S.C.) says he is deeply concerned about the safety of President Elect Joe Biden and even more so Vice President Elect Kamala Harris.

“We have to be more concerned about Harris than any of the other vice presidents in our nation’s history,” Clyburn said during a Zoom conference with journalist Richard Prince’s Journal-isms Roundtable. “That Kamala is the first woman and the first Black vice president is an issue that cannot be avoided.”

The question, posed by this reporter, was in response to reports that Biden is expected to receive Secret Service protection with a new team that is more familiar to him; replacing some agents amid concerns that they may be more politically aligned with outgoing President Donald Trump.

Biden’s protection was also heightened after he was elected in the wake of credible threats to both him and Harris. However, it is not clear whether her protection will be strengthened more than usual for a vice president. 

President Obama began receiving unprecedented levels of Secret Service protection as a candidate due to threats on his life. He was reportedly assigned a Secret Service detail at the presidential level a year and a half before his 2008 election. 

Secret Service alliances with Trump may be extreme. For example, some members of Trump’s detail reportedly urged their colleagues not to wear protective masks during trips in order to please Trump, despite the massive numbers of deaths and infections due to Covid 19.

Clyburn’s concerns come at a time of heightened tensions where thousands of Trump supporters gathered in Washington on January 6 to challenge the Electoral College certification of Biden and Harris as president and vice president.

Trump encouraged the Proud Boys among other White Supremacists groups to join the protest. Recently, these groups were engaged in violence in the District. This included several knife attacks, arrests and the defacing of Black churches where Black Lives Matter posters were ripped from their buildings.


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