The Biden campaign and now-administration have focused on the racial inequities in the crisis. That has included working with people like Wes Moore of the Black Economic Alliance, who has been advising the administration. “We have been having great conversations with the folks in the White House. And I think there is a clear understanding of why we are pushing on this measure. It’s about the fact that every single day it’s not that we are just losing our children. It’s a fact that we’re paying for it,” Moore told TheGrio. “And what I mean by that is that child poverty costs the U.S. economy between $800 billion and $1.1 trillion a year in terms of criminal justice costs, increase health expenditures, reduce adult productivity. So it’s not like we’re just having this conversation in a vacuum,” he continued. “There’s a cost every single day if we do not do something about child poverty.”
Biden’s plan could cut child poverty in half just this year, researchers have found, with food assistance, unemployment benefits, family tax credits, and the survival checks. It could help 5 million children and their families rise above the poverty line, and many of the families in communities of color.
Addressing the racial disparities in the medical and economic response to coronavirus has been key to the administration, as spelled out in a fact sheet released with the plan. “President Biden is committed to addressing the disparities evident in the pandemic at every step, from ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines and supplies to expanding health care services for underserved communities,” the White House asserted in its statement. “His proposal includes funding to provide health services for underserved populations, including expanding Community Health Centers and investing in health services on tribal lands. These funds will support the expansion of COVID treatment and care, as well as our ability to provide vaccination to underserved populations.”
The fact that this meeting includes the vice president and the treasury secretary is a profound statement about the administration’s commitment. The roundtable is available at C-SPAN.