Biden campaign offers to help state, local officials with coronavirus response

Campaign wants to “connect those offering help with those in need of it.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is reaching out to state and local officials offering to assist with their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an email addressed to “State and Local Officials” and obtained by ABC News, the campaign is seeking to “connect those offering help with those in need of it.”

“The Biden for President Campaign has been receiving a significant number of offers from individuals or organizations eager to support your efforts to respond to the COVID19 pandemic by donating, volunteering, or otherwise contributing their resources or capacity,” wrote Stacy Eichner, Political Chief of Staff for the Biden Campaign, on Sunday.

“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,” she continued. “Please let us know if you would like to identify a designee from your office for this contact list.”

The Biden campaign said the email was sent to staff for governors from all 50 states and Puerto Rico but would not provide details on the types of organizations offering help. The campaign also declined to comment on whether the unnamed organizations were already coordinating with the federal government or whether the campaign had communicated about their offer with the White House.

“It’s an effort to direct our base of support that wants to help out those in need to put them directly in touch with the people who can use that help,” a Biden aide told ABC News.

When asked how many responses they had received to the email, the campaign again declined to offer specifics.

“It’s an ongoing effort,” the Biden aide said. “We hope to continue to be helpful as we can.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Biden has said he is open to speaking with President Trump about the coronavirus response. On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, he said: “I’m happy to talk to him, and I’d just tell him what we found is important to do … and that is to move swiftly and … we have to move more rapidly.”

The president tweeted on Monday that he was still awaiting Biden’s phone call.

“Joe Biden wanted the date for the Democrat National Convention moved to a later time period. Now he wants a “Virtual” Convention, one where he doesn’t have to show up,” Trump wrote. “Gee, I wonder why? Also, what ever happened to that phone call he told the Fake News he wanted to make to me?”

The Biden campaign said on Monday that, following the president’s tweet, they will be reaching out to try to set up a call. Biden also tweeted his own reply to the president on Monday afternoon.

“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,” Biden wrote. “I have laid out how you can do that…Happy to discuss anytime.”

What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the US and Worldwide: coronavirus map
  • Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

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