Biden said he warned governors not to endorse him to prevent retaliation from the Trump administration

insider@insider.com (Connor Perrett)
·3 min read
  • The Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, on Saturday said he advised governors not to publicly endorse him over fears the Trump administration might withhold COVID-19 supplies.

  • "Don't endorse me because you'll pay a penalty," Biden said at a virtual campaign event on Saturday of what he told governors.

  • Numerous Democratic governors have endorsed Biden, and some former Republican governors, like John Kasich of Ohio, have endorsed him, too.

Joe biden mask.JPG
Former Vice President Joe Biden at a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 30.

The Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, said during a virtual campaign event Saturday that he advised some governors against offering public endorsements of him to avoid the possibility of retribution from the Trump administration.

Related video: Highlights from Trump and Biden’s first presidential debate

"I told some governors, don't endorse me, who wanted to endorse me," Biden said. "Don't endorse me because you'll pay a penalty. You won't get what you need from the federal government in terms of COVID prep."

"Not a joke, my word," Biden added while speaking at a virtual town hall for the Amalgamated Transit Union town hall from Wilmington, Delaware, KATC first reported.

The former vice president has received numerous endorsements from Democratic governors, including Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gavin Newsom of California, and Andrew Cuomo of New York. Several former Republican governors, like John Kasich of Ohio and Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania, have also endorsed Biden's bid for the presidency.

Throughout the pandemic, the president has praised his administration's response to the coronavirus while criticizing governors — particularly in states with Democratic leaders. Trump regularly clashed with Cuomo early during the pandemic, when New York experienced the worst outbreak of the disease in the US.

As recently as last month, the president blamed "blue states" for the spread of the novel coronavirus in the US, as Axios reported.

"If you take the blue states out, we're at a level that I don't think anybody in the world would be at," Trump said at a press conference last month. "We're really at a very low level, but some of the states — they were blue states, and blue-state management."

As Axios reported, there is no clear relationship between the party leading a state and the number of deaths from COVID-19, as only three out of the five states with the largest death tolls from the disease are led by Democrats.

Trump, who announced early Friday that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for COVID-19, has been hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was transported by helicopter on Friday. While the White House physician on Saturday said the president was doing well, the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, cast doubt on Trump's condition, telling reporters that the president had a "very concerning" period with the disease.

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