Watch: Governor Hogan Discusses Maryland’s Coronavirus Response Live on MSNBC
ANNAPOLIS, MD—This afternoon, Governor Hogan appeared live on MSNBC to discuss the latest updates in Maryland’s ongoing response to COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
Yesterday, Governor Hogan announced a series of major actions to protect public health and safety and limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland.
“Yesterday we took a number of unprecedented actions based on all of the best advice from our Coronavirus Response Team, which is made up of some of the top health professionals in the world, from Johns Hopkins University and from some of our other leading medical institutions across the state, and our entire executive branch. One was closing all the schools in the state, the other one was a ban on mass gatherings of over 250 people, and we also activated the National Guard and took a number of other steps…The earlier you make the decisions and take these actions, the better it is to kind of bend down the curve and to stop the rapid spread of the disease.”
“We’re also passing emergency legislation to try and take care of those folks, and we’re working with the federal government…I believe Congress may be taking action as we speak to try and address some of these issues. As far as unemployment insurance, we’re hopefully passing today in our state legislature emergency legislation to take care of some of those issues. But it’s obviously going to be a major disruption in people’s lives, and it’s going to cause a great deal of difficulty. These are not decisions that we take lightly. But we’re taking them, we’re trying to make the steps that we believe may be necessary. They may cause concern, they’re certainly going to be disruptive, and they may be scary, but we believe they’re absolutely necessary to keep the people safe.
“The last thing I think we need at this point in time is finger-pointing, or Monday-morning quarterbacking, or talking about the mistakes that have been made or could have been done better or should have had more testing ready because the reality is: yes, we have a problem. There’s not enough tests. We’re dealing with that crisis now in every single one of our states and we’re trying to fix it, and it’s not something we’re going to fix overnight, but I do believe that people are aware of it, they’re trying to address it, but yeah, we’re behind. In our state, we were one of the first to be approved to do our own testing. I know that Johns Hopkins University, one of our leading medical universities—we’re the home to FDA, to NIH, to Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland Medical System—we’re all working on the possibility of ramping up. We’ve now got private labs, like Quest and LabCorp, and others that are trying to ramp up production, but it’s just not going to be fast enough. So the real concern for us right now really isn’t about testing. It’s about stopping the spread, social distancing measures, preparing for the kinds of things we can do to stop and slow down the growth. And quite frankly, at some point, we’re not going to be arguing about the testing, we’re going to be worried about taking care of sick people.”
“I’m the chairman of the National Governors Association, and I was in the White House Situation Room twice in the past two weeks. We had two conference calls with all of the nation’s governors, both Democrat and Republican. I was sitting next to Vice President Pence, we had all the leaders with all the federal agencies. There’s concerns among all of us about what we don’t have and don’t need. They’re being conveyed directly to the cabinet secretaries and the folks at that level, and we are doing that. But I’ll say this, they have done an excellent job of reaching out to the states.”