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Amid pandemic crisis, AP looks at VP Kamala Harris’ ties to India

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White House reporter Alex Jaffe sidestepped resistance from Vice President Kamala Harris’ office to report on the vice president’s connections to India, even as the coronavirus raged in India and the U.S. came under criticism for not doing more to aid the country. Harris’ mother had immigrated to the U.S. from India in the 1950s to pursue a career as a scientist.

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Vice President Kamala Harris’ maternal uncle, Balachandran Gopalan, talks to media outside his house, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2020. – AP Photo / Manish Swarup

Jaffe lined up a Zoom interview with Harris’ uncle in New Delhi, who had spoken with the vice president on his 80th birthday this spring. And New Delhi writer Krutika Pathi contributed comments from the administrator of a temple in the hometown of Harris’ grandfather in southern Tamil Nadu state. Jaffe rounded out the story with India-related tweets from Harris’ niece in California and background on the vice president’s many comments about her ties to India over the years.

The story generated strong play, particularly in Indian media, including online versions of the Indian Express and the Hindustan Times.

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