CLEVELAND — "To the people of Cleveland, and to your listeners, I do believe that the road to victory travels through Cleveland, and travels through Ohio."
Senator Kamala Harris still showed Cleveland a lot of love on Friday despite not being able to make a planned campaign visit here.
"First of all, let me just say that I am so sorry I wasn't able to be in Cleveland today, I planned to be there in person. But, I'm with you virtually, I've been there many times before," Senator Harris told WZAK's Sam Sylk.
After canceling her intended campaign trip to Northeast Ohio due to several members of her staff testing positive for COVID-19, the California senator decided to make an appearance on Cleveland radio station, 93.1 WZAK.
During the interview, WZAK's Sylk asked Senator Harris about healthcare, police brutality, COVID-19, and even the fly that happened to land on Vice President Mike Pence's head during the vice presidential debate last week.
In regards to the record-breaking number of people turning up for early voting across the country as well as the "charged-up" energy many are feeling right now, Sen. Harris told WZAK "folks are active and taking to the streets...I'm just so excited about it."
While Harris apologized that she wasn't able to physically be in Cleveland or the Buckeye State, the junior senator from California said that she has great confidence in the Ohio lawmakers she has worked with in the past.
"I'm sorry I haven't been able to be there but I want you to know that between Marcia Fudge, Joyce Beatty, and the whole delegation, that we are turning folks out to vote and it's because there is so much at stake in this election."
Sylk then pivoted the conversation to racial justice in the United States, specifically mentioning George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who both died this year at the hands of the police.
"What we must do- and what we've known for generations- as the world is now seeing what we've known for generations, there are two systems of justice in America," Harris told WZAK, "and we've got to make sure that we are speaking the truth about it and the need for reform and accountability in policing."
As far as what Senator Harris and running mate, former Vice President Joe Biden, intend to do to help change the current system in place? Harris says they have big plans.
"Joe and I, on our agenda for and on our commitment about what we're going to do, it's going to include a ban on chokehold, and carotid holds, George Floyd would be alive today if that we're the case," Harris said. "It's going to be about creating a national registry of police officers who have broken the law... we're saying we need to decriminalize marijuana...these are the kinds of things that need to happen to reform our system, and talk is not enough."
In terms of the major reason that cancelled her trip to Cleveland, Harris had a lot to say about the current COVID-19 pandemic, both in Ohio and nationally.
"We're looking at over 175,000 cases in Ohio and over 5,000 people have died because of the pandemic," the vice-presidential hopeful said, "Nationally, we're looking at numbers where over 8,000,000 million people have contracted it and 217,000 people who have died from it."
As far as their actual plan for dealling with the pandemic, Harris had a lot to say about that as well.
"We have a plan and Donald Trump does not have a plan," Harris said of how she and Biden would deal with the Coronavirus pandemic, "It's about a national plan for testing, for contract-tracing, for treatment, and God willing, a vaccine as soon as we get it."
Harris, who is half Black and half Southeastern Asian, also told WZAK that she and Biden have openly discussed the racial disparities the COVID-19 pandemic has pointed out.
"Black folks are three times as likely to contract the virus- twice as likely to die from it- and what we need to do then in terms of testing and treatment and vaccines, is take those disparities into account to make sure nobody is left out and left behind," Harris said on Friday.
Sylk also managed to ask Harris what she thinks of the minimum wage as it currently stands in Ohio at $8.25 per hour, to which she responded that she would like to see the minimum wage raised to $15 an hour, nationally, in addition to new and prosperous jobs.
Overall, Sen. Harris argued that she believes Americans- and Black Americans in particular- have "a lot at stake in this election," and that she doesn't expect anyone to vote for their ticket, she and Biden look forward to only earning votes.