Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said Saturday there was a “duality” in celebrating her historic inauguration Wednesday in a nation grieving nearly 400,000 COVID-19 fatalities and struggling with the deadly siege on its Capitol this month.

“I believe that there is great joy among people who recognize the historic nature of this election,” Harris said in a 12-minute phone interview, her first with The Times since her Nov. 3 electoral victory.

She pointed not only to her role as the first woman, the first Black American and the first South Asian American elected as vice president, but also said “it really was a statement about who we are as a country in terms of the rule of law and our democracy and fighting for the integrity of that.”

“I do believe that people will find a moment to experience that joy,” she said, recalling the street parties that followed the Nov. 7 announcement by the media that former Vice President Joe Biden was the declared winner.

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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