Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Thursday accused Republican President Donald Trump and his allies of "rooting for violence," as protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, turn violent after the police shooting of a 29-year-old Black man, Jacob Blake.

"These guys are rooting for violence," Biden said in an interview with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. "That is what it is all about."

Biden referred to a quote from White House aide Kellyanne Conway to back up his claim. Conway told Fox News on Thursday that "the more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better news for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order."

Biden told Cooper that Trump is “absolutely” hoping for more violence, as it will distract from his administration’s response to COVID-19. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the virus has killed more than 180,000 Americans as of Thursday.

"It takes everybody's eyes off the ball," Biden said. "Want to talk about safety, look at the biggest safety issue in the nation: Covid. ... He has been incompetent in the way in which he has dealt with this."

On Wednesday night, Vice President Mike Pence criticized Biden in his speech at the Republican National Convention.

"Let me be clear: the violence must stop – whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha," Pence said. "The hard truth is, you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America."

It’s unclear if Pence’s message will resonate, as civil unrest has escalated under the Trump administration.

On Tuesday, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly fired on protesters with a semi-automatic rifle during the protests in Kenosha, killing two people and seriously injuring a third. On Wednesday, Rittenhouse was arrested at his mother’s home in Antioch, Illinois, and charged with murder.

The protests in Kenosha come after demonstrations erupted earlier this summer following the death of George Floyd. In response to acts of violence amid the demonstrations, Trump threatened to deploy troops to American cities in order to “dominate the streets.”

Although Trump has tried to promote a tough image of himself during the protests, some of his actions have been seen as pouring fuel on the fire. After there was looting in some cities following Floyd’s death, Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a quote attributed to a racist police chief in Miami in the 1960s.

Trump was also criticized for his response to the Unite the Right, a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 that resulted in a counter-protester being killed and over 30 injuries.