Former Vice President Joe Biden is attempting to help state leaders deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but some are finding that his efforts are making things more “difficult.”
The campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate reached out to governors’ offices across the nation offering to assist their states with getting much-needed supplies and resources in the battle against COVID-19, according to the New York Post. But while some of the leaders said they never got the email sent out Monday, at least one Republican essentially said thanks, but no thanks.
“In this moment of national emergency, we are eager to connect those offering help with those in need of it — we would like to provide these individuals and organizations with a way to reach your offices directly,” Biden’s political chief of staff Stacy Eichner wrote in the email.
Biden’s campaign had reportedly received a “significant number of offers” of resources, Eichner noted, inviting the state offices to reach out if they were interested.
But staff for Republican Governors Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Brian Kemp of Georgia indicated that they had not received the letter from the Biden campaign. But the letter was sent to governors, “Republican and Democrat alike,” a Biden spokeswoman pushed back.
A senior adviser in one of the offices of a governor who did receive the email noted that the outreach was actually making the state lawmaker’s job “really difficult,” as the former vice president’s campaign was operating a separate effort from the Trump administration’s process.
“It actually makes our job harder. We have a process in place for deploying and acquiring resources, as well as engaging in missions,” the source told The Post, questioning the motives behind organizations and individuals offering the resources.
“Having a group operating outside of that process complicates things and smells of cronyism,” he added. “It also begs the question of why aren’t these companies working with the feds directly, or if they are, why are they holding back needed resources for political reasons?”
President Trump revealed on Monday during the White House coronavirus task force press briefing that he had spoken to Biden directly by phone earlier.
“We had a really wonderful, warm conversation, a very nice conversation,” Trump said of the phone call with his potential 2020 rival.
“We talked about, pretty much…what everyone is talking about, this is what they want to talk about,” the president said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. “He gave me his point of view and I fully understood that.”
“It was really good, really good. Really nice,” he added, saying of the “friendly” 15-minute conversation.
“I enjoyed it. I hope he enjoyed it too,” Trump said, telling reporters that Biden “had suggestions” but “it doesn’t mean that I agree with those suggestions, but certainly he had suggestions. I also told him some of the things we’re doing.”
The call came after Trump tweeted out about Biden’s previous offer to speak to him about the coronavirus response.
Mr. President, I hope we can gather in Milwaukee, but that is going to depend on you stepping up and doing what needs to be done to handle this pandemic. I have laid out how you can do that: https://t.co/YLHCGEKnUB. Happy to discuss anytime. https://t.co/ePQuQKkeZV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 6, 2020
The virus outbreak has relegated Biden to his Delaware home as he continues to try to run his campaign, releasing a podcast called “Here’s The Deal,” holding virtual town halls and now, reaching out to state lawmakers in an effort to remain relevant amid the non-stop news of the global pandemic.
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