Former NFL coach Mike Holmgren slams Trump pandemic response, throws support to Biden


Former NFL coach Mike Holmgren on Saturday criticized President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and threw his support behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden

At a virtual press conference with Green Bay, Wisc., Mayor Eric Genrich (D), Holmgren said that he will be campaigning for Biden in Wisconsin, a swing state Trump narrowly won in 2016 against former secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Holmgren coached the Green Bay Packers from 1992 to 1998, leading the team to a Super Bowl victory against the New England Patriots in the 1996 season.

“I’ve never done this before — talked to anybody prior to a campaign...This election is different," Holmgren said. "It’s really different than any other election in my lifetime. 

During his press conference with the mayor, the former coach talked about the impact the coronavirus has had on the city of Green Bay, and on its football team, the Green Bay Packers. Holmgren slammed President Trump for his pandemic response, saying that curbing the coronavirus earlier could have had positive effects on the Green Bay economy. 

Both Genirch and Holmgren underscored that $15 million comes into the city per Packers home game. 

"To start the season tomorrow with nobody in the stands, nobody in the parking lot and not having it be what it always has been it has to be very, very hard for those folks," Holmgren said. 

"It didn’t have to be this bad— it really didn’t. And now, we find out, he knew all along — the president knew how bad it was, and kept it from the American people...," he continued. 

The NFL season kicked off this week with no fans in the stadiums as the U.S. continues to combat the spread of the coronavirus. 

Earlier this week, The Washington Post released excerpts from veteran journalist Bob Woodward's forthcoming book "Rage", his second work detailing the Trump presidency.

The article published by the paper included recordings between President Trump and Woodward in which the president said that he downplayed the risk of the coronavirus at the start of the pandemic. 

In a March recording, Trump can be heard telling Woodward, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic.”

Holmgren told the Green Bay Press-Gazette in an interview that he warmed up to the Democratic Party in recent years and that Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic influenced his decision to campaign for Biden.

"Had the administration acted in a timely and responsible way, then we may have had people in the football stadium, we may have saved a lot of businesses, and I know we would have saved a lot of lives," Holmgren said. 

Wisconsin is one of a handful of swing states that could tip the scales for either candidate in the upcoming presidential election. A FiveThirtyEight polling average has Biden seven points ahead of Trump in Wisconsin.