Vice President Harris leaves for Vietnam and Singapore on Friday, as the Biden administration is criticized for the hasty exit from Afghanistan.
A senior official promised the vice president would be focused on Afghanistan, and the evacuation of thousands of American citizens is a priority.
The official told reporters during a conference call, “She will continue to work on those issues and be in constant contact with Washington and her colleagues during this trip.”
Harris has maintained silence and been out of view from the public for eight days following the crisis.
The administration told reporters she was engaged behind the scenes and will continue prioritizing the issue while on her trip.
“We are all confident that she can do this trip and pursue all of these important interests while staying engaged on the subject of Afghanistan,” the official added.
The official argued the trip’s importance.
“We can do more than one thing at a time,” the official said. “And we’re going to do more than one thing at a time as we focus on these two huge priorities for the United States.”
The administration avoided comparisons between the end of the Vietnam war and the end of the Afghanistan war.
“Yeah. As you rightly anticipated, we don’t want to get bogged down in the historical comparisons,” the official replied after a reporter asked about the comparison.
“We’re not focused on the history of the Vietnam War,” the official continued, citing comments from Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. “We’re focused on what’s going on today in Afghanistan and doing everything we can to have the most successful outcome.”