Vice President Kamala Harris was seen on video wiping her hand on her pants leg after shaking the hand of the South Korean president.
This led some online critics of Harris to pounce, accusing her of insulting him. “Kamala Harris insults the South Korean President Moon Jae-in by wiping her hand off after shaking his hand,” wrote one such Twitter user who shared the video, which has gone viral. You can watch it below.
But did she really wipe her hands or did she just position her hand on her pant leg briefly for whatever other reason? Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic? Or it was just an instinctual reaction? That’s a matter of subjectivity, and you can watch the video below and judge for yourself. The South Korean president is named Moon Jae-in.
Here’s what you need to know:
Harris Wrote That She Discussed North Korea & Global Health With the South Korean President
Harris wrote about meeting the South Korean president on her Twitter page.
“Today, I met with Republic of Korea President Moon. We discussed North Korea, global health, and how we can address the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle. We look forward to working with President Moon to address the challenges we face,” she wrote, sharing a smiling photo of the pair together.
Some people said that what Harris did could even be perceived as racist. “This is the USA VP? Not only disrespectful, but it would be “racist” if this was a Republican, all over the news for sure…Double standards on full display,” wrote a Twitter user.
Another user responded in Harris’s defense, “I do agree that if it were a republican they would be lambasted however the criticism of the VP is ridiculous… it probably was just a natural reaction that all of us have been doing for over a year now… not a personal affront to the South Korean President.”
Some People Didn’t Think It was a Big Deal
Harris had her defenders online. “Give me a break, I bet he had sweaty hands & she did it without a thought…same as anyone would,” wrote one person on Twitter.
“Oh please, actually I would have immediately sanitized my hands, why on earth are they even shaking hands, wiping your hands like that is pointless, the majority of the world including leaders aren’t shaking hands or have they forgotten Covid,” wrote another.
But others criticized her and said a Republican would be lambasted more. “Kamala Harris (who is apparently doing most of Joe Biden’s job) insults South Korean President by wiping her hand off after shaking his hand. Was his hand that sweaty? How can you do that knowing cameras are recording your every move? Classy,” wrote one.
Some people tried to make light of the situation. “I don’t know why people are up in arms about Kamala Harris wiping her right hand on her jacket after shaking hands with the South Korean President. I would do the same if I had to shake Kamala’s hand. And Biden’s too,” wrote one.