Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden visits an aluminum manufacturing facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, on September 21, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 150 US chefs and restaurateurs this week signed a letter urging public support for Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden, saying their industry faces an “existential crisis” due to President Donald Trump’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Trump administration blew the pandemic response,” reads the open letter. “Now, the industry is expected to lose an estimated $240 billion by the end of this year, and many restaurants and small businesses are on financial life support.”

Since the start of the crisis “the restaurant industry has begged this administration for support … Yet, at every turn, the President has mishandled the response.”

Trump “has proven his unfitness to hold the office of the presidency. He has failed the restaurant industry, our employees, our customers, and the stakes are too high to continue down this path … We need to elect Joe Biden” as the next US president, the letter read.

Biden’s campaign did not immediately provide the names of people who signed the letter.

But according to the specialty magazine Eater, more than 150 chefs and restaurateurs have signed the document, including chef Elizabeth Falkner, pastry chef Duff Goldman, New York chef and cookbook author Anita Lo, and Nina Compton of the restaurant Compere Lapin in New Orleans.

Some, like Falkner, are active on Twitter and were already participating in Biden campaign fundraisers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a gut punch to the US restaurant and hospitality industries.

In many cities, including New York and Los Angeles, restaurants can only open outdoor dining areas.

New York has authorized theaters to reopen on September 30, but at only at one quarter capacity, as is the case in Chicago.

A recent study by the New York City Hospitality Alliance found that nearly nine in ten restaurants could no longer fully pay their rent.