WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (Reuters) - President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday he had discussed a possible nationwide mask mandate with state governors during a 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.