President-elect Joe Biden is expected to participate in a call on the coronavirus pandemic with a bipartisan group of the nation’s governors on Thursday.
The call between Biden and members of the National Governors’ Association (NGA) executive committee will be facilitated by the NGA in conjunction with the Biden transition team, an NGA spokesperson and Biden transition official said.
“Joe Biden is going to be talking to the governors on Thursday. We’re arranging a call. The governors are the ones who have been handling this war, frankly. Joe Biden wants to engage with them right away and I think that’s smart,” NGA chairman and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday during an appearance on MSNBC.
The call is expected to be closed to press and details on an agenda were not immediately available.
The executive committee group is made up of: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama, Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado, Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah.
The call comes as the Trump administration continues to block the Biden transition, with the Biden team, public health, and national security experts sounding the alarm on the potential consequences.
White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed the need for a smooth transition during an appearance on CNN Tuesday morning, specifically noting the importance of “communication with health groups in different states” and “getting interaction at a formal level with the governors.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who has hosted 41 conference calls with governors since the onset of the pandemic, led a briefing call on Monday, the first such call he participated in since Sept. 29.
While Monday’s call addressed granular detail of vaccine deployment, officials also discussed the worsening pandemic. There was, however, no mention of the transition.