Maya rarely opens up about her private life, but in April 2020, she spoke out about her experience with lupus after Donald Trump started pushing hydroxychloroquine (which is an essential medicine for people with lupus) as a potential treatment for COVID-19. "I have lupus. I haven't spoken publicly about it before now. But then coronavirus hit, killing black people at alarming rates & Trump unnecessarily put lupus patients — disproportionately black women — at higher risk," Harris wrote on Twitter.
She also linked to an essay she wrote for The Atlantic, in which she explained how she was diagnosed during her last semester of college. "The diagnosis was lupus: a life-changing autoimmune disease in which the body literally attacks itself," she wrote. "The physical effects of the disease are cruel, including excruciating joint pain, organ damage, dramatic hair loss, and debilitating fatigue — most of which I have experienced again and again, often for long stretches, throughout my life. And while lupus can be managed, it has no cure. For three decades, I kept this private and spoke of my condition only with my family and a handful of close friends. I had no intention of changing that until the coronavirus changed everything."