A Michigan bar owner who is being depicted as struggling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in a Biden campaign ad, is actually a wealthy tech investor who donated thousands to Joe Biden’s campaign.
Joe Malcoun, the co-owner of The Blind Pig bar featured in the ad, is a prominent “angel investor” in several Michigan tech companies and donated $5,000 to the Biden campaign in July, Fox News reported. He has also been a vocal supporter of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown policies, saying in April that she was “doing it right.”
Malcoun said on Twitter, “Keep saying it with me: this means @GovWhitmer is doing it right. White men with fragile egos will always be intimidated by smart powerful woman. And they should be.” He has since made his account private.
The ad, which was first posted to YouTube on Thursday and then aired during Sunday’s NFL games on CBS, features Malcoun lamenting the state of his business after months of lockdowns. “For 50 years, The Blind Pig has been open and crowded, but right now, it’s an empty room,” he said as cameras showed the empty venue. “This is the reality of Trump’s COVID response.”
“We don’t know how much longer we can survive not having any revenue. A lot of restaurants and bars that have been mainstays for years will not make it through this. This is Donald Trump’s economy,” he said. “There’s no plan, and you don’t know how to go forward. It makes me so angry. My only hope for my family and for this business and my community is that Joe Biden wins this election. That’s the kind of person we need.”
The Blind Pig did reopen in June, but Malcoun voluntarily closed it down again after he found it difficult to communicate constantly changing coronavirus rules to customers. “Now that we tried it and saw it’s really hard to communicate what it means to have a really socially distanced live music show, we decided it’s not really worth trying. The very last thing we want is to be the epicenter of a new outbreak,” Malcoun said at the time.
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