President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are reportedly skipping weekly conference calls with the nation’s governors on the coronavirus pandemic, despite campaigning on the issue and promising to work closely with governors.
RealClearPolitics’ Philip Wegmann reported Monday:
The phone calls come from inside the new administration, but the president is not on the line. In fact, Joe Biden has not dialed in to any of the weekly COVID-19 coordinating calls with the nation’s governors since he came into office, a sharp contrast with his predecessor and a break from last year’s pandemic ritual.
Every Tuesday, usually at 11 a.m. EST, all 50 governors dial in to the same conference call to coordinate federal and state responses to the coronavirus crisis. And until this past January, they heard each time from the vice president. Mike Pence, as head of the White House COVID task force, led those weekly discussions. Donald Trump dropped by from time to time. The calls continue under the current administration but without Biden. “It’s been a real frustration, I think it’s safe to say, for all 50 governors,” New Hampshire’s Chris Sununu told RealClearPolitics.
Biden attacked President Donald Trump throughout the 2020 presidential campaign over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and promised to do better. In November, following the election, Biden met remotely with a bipartisan group of governors and promised to work closely with them once he had entered the White House.
“I want you to know I will be your partner in the White House,” Biden said in his meeting, as quoted at the time by USA Today. “I want to work with you and Congress on a bipartisan basis to make sure you get what you need.”
“I promise you that we’ll work together,” Biden said, as he and Harris addressed the gathering of governors in Delaware, telling them that the federal government and the states would work “hand in glove.”
“I understand the critical role our governors play, and they will have partners in the White House starting on January 20th,” Harris also said.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.