Joe Biden said Monday he wants governors to lock down their states to fight the coronavirus and questioned the patriotism of those who don’t.
Biden said he has “enormous respect” for “conservative” Republican governors who have “stepped up and issued mandates for wearing masks.”
The Democrat presidential candidate went on to praise Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), and criticized an unnamed Trump adviser who supposedly recommended governors “resist” Biden’s demands.
“What the hell is the matter with these guys? What is the matter with them?” Biden said, adding:
Every major individual of any consequence in the health field is saying we can save 100,000 lives just between now and January 21 by wearing masks. It’s going to take a while for the vaccine to be able to be available, distributed and get to people. We’re talking about 350,000 to 400,000 people dying.
“What are they doing? It’s totally irresponsible, irresponsible,” he said.
Biden then praised Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R), though not by name:
Does anybody understand why a governor would turn this into a political statement? It’s about patriotism. It’s about being patriotic. It’s about saving lives, for real. I’m— this is not hyperbole. It’s about being patriotic. I think we’re seeing more and more as this god-awful virus continues to spread, almost unabated, that we— that governors are stepping up.
Biden used similar language in October linking wearing a mask to being patriotic.
“It’s not a matter of politics. It’s a bracing reminder to all of us, we have to take this virus seriously,” he said in Michigan, WZZM reported. “It’s not going away automatically. We have to do our part to be responsible–means following the science, listening to the experts, washing our hands, social distancing.”
Biden has previously called for a national mask mandate, and has said he will pressure governors and mayors to impose them.
“So be patriotic. It’s not about being a tough guy. It’s about doing your part,” Biden said. “Wearing a mask is not only going to protect you, it also protects those around you,” he said.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube or download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.