In an exclusive telephone interview, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre underscored President Biden’s unwavering commitment to addressing the Black community’s critical issues. Reflecting on promises made during the 2020 campaign, Jean-Pierre outlined key achievements and ongoing initiatives directly impacting African Americans and other historically underserved communities.
“At the onset of President Biden’s term, the country faced economic turmoil and the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The President, true to his campaign commitment, prioritized equity, ensuring the Black community received fair access to COVID-19 vaccines,” remarked Jean-Pierre.
“He made sure that small businesses got back on their feet, our schools reopened, and the child tax credit put money into people’s pockets. All those things were important to our community.”
The more than 10-minute discussion also delved into the significance of the American Rescue Plan, which was pivotal in supporting various facets of the Black community. The first Black woman to serve as White House Press Secretary, Jean-Pierre, highlighted the impact of the Biden-Harris administration’s policies on economic recovery, small business revival, and other measures that directly provided essential financial relief to individuals.
“Economic indicators demonstrate significant progress since President Biden took office. Black unemployment, which stood at 9.2 percent, has notably declined to 5.9 percent as of October,” said Jean-Pierre, emphasizing the administration’s commitment to economic revitalization.
Jean-Pierre also noted the importance of net worth, noting a remarkable 60 percent increase for African Americans. She highlighted the historic investment of $7 billion in historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the doubling of Black business ownership since the onset of the pandemic.
“The President has consistently prioritized equity across various policy areas, including healthcare, education, and police reform,” said Jean-Pierre, also the first openly gay person to helm the White House briefing room. “Executive orders were issued to ban chokeholds and implement strong use-of-force policies when congressional action stalled,” Jean-Pierre stated.
She noted that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have regularly worked to uplift Black and Brown communities, including their fight for voting rights, police reform, and cutting prices at the cash register.
“Lowering prices is what the president works on every day,” the press secretary asserted. “The prices of eggs, milk, and [other items] are lower than last year. Used cars and truck prices are down, and we will do everything we can to continue to lower prices. The work continues.” The conversation extended to Biden’s recognition of the Black Press’s significance, with Jean-Pierre assuring ongoing access to the president for regular engagement and discussions.
“The President understands the credibility and importance of the Black Press in conveying messages directly to the community. We are committed to ensuring continuous access and engagement,” affirmed Jean-Pierre. “We’re going to ensure [The Black Press] has access to the president. That’s what he wants—he wants to speak directly to you. This president understands the importance of speaking to the Black Press, and he wants to have regular engagement with all of you, and we’re going to make sure that happens.”