Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says if he's elected, he'll gather the nation's governors and ask them to urge residents in their states to wear masks in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden, speaking at a town hall Thursday night in Philadelphia hosted by ABC News, acknowledged that as president "you can't mandate a mask."

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But the former vice president said that "you can go to every governor and get them all in a room, all 50 of them, as president and say 'ask people to wear a mask. Everybody knows."

Biden said that if some governors don't move to implement mask requirements, he said "then I go to every mayor, I go to every councilman, every local official, and say 'mandate the mask.'"

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participates in a town hall with moderator ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participates in a town hall with moderator ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Trump avoided wearing a mask in public until July and continues to resist any forceful urging of Americans to wear masks. At last month's first presidential debate, Trump once again mocked Biden for wearing a mask, saying that "I don't wear a mask like him. Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from him and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."

Biden on Thursday reiterated that the "words of the president matter, no matter if they're good, bad or indifferent, they matter. And when a president doesn't wear a mask or makes fun of people like me when I was wearing a mask for a long time, then people say 'well, it mustn't be that important.'"