The incoming White House administration will have to handle dual public health crises, COVID-19 and racism.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris met with the top civil rights leaders Tuesday night.
During the meeting, Biden and Harris were commended on recent diverse picks for top cabinet positions, like retired Geb. Lloyd Austin as the country's first black Pentagon chief, and Rep. Marcia Fudge to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“And we want to ensure that that momentum and that progress is going to continue through the remainder of the appointments he makes,” said Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League.
Morial says the meeting was candid and productive. He says his organization will support but also hold the administration accountable to their commitments on racial equity and it starts with COVID-19.
“Ensuring that there's a plan to educate people in the community, to educate Black people and brown people about the process of the vaccine, about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, so people can make their own decision,” said Morial.
A top concern among civil rights leaders is vaccine access. Morial says the distribution system shouldn't be solely reliant on chain pharmacies, hospitals and doctors.
“To be able to distribute the vaccine at schools, at libraries, at community centers, why not use covered stadiums in some communities, that covered staples in places like Indianapolis and New Orleans and Houston,” said Morial.
The head of the NAACP also asked the president-elect for a new national adviser position that would focus on creating policy centered around racial justice and equity.