President-elect Biden holds discussion with governors on COVID-19 response, including Gov. Herbert

By Jarrett Renshaw and Simon Lewis, Reuters | Posted - Nov. 19, 2020 at 4:06 p.m.



DELAWARE (Reuters) — President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday he had discussed a possible nationwide mask mandate with state governors during a video conference call, as COVID-19 case and death rates rise across the United States.

Biden said wearing a mask was "not a political statement, it's a patriotic duty" during remarks after the call with both Republican and Democratic state governors.

Biden also said the federal government needs to deliver financial relief to states so they can tackle the virus.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert was among those in attendance of the video call and released a statement wishing the president-elect success and offering thanks for his engagement with state officials in attempts to coordinate a national response to COVID-19.

"Today, I joined President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, and a bipartisan group of governors represented on the executive committee of the National Governors Association for a video conference call," the release says. "We had a good discussion about how states and the federal government can work together in the nationwide fight against COVID-19. I wished the president-elect every success and am grateful for his efforts to engage the nation's governors in these important discussions."

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Simon Lewis; Editing by Chris Reese)

Contributing: Katie Workman, KSL.com

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