TRANSCRIPT: COVID-19 Press Conference March 25, 2020
GOVERNOR HOGAN: Good morning. On this day in 1634, 150 European settlers sailing on the Ark and the Dove set foot on Maryland soil for the first time at St. Clements Island. So even though we’re in a state of emergency, I wish everyone a happy Maryland Day as our state celebrates its 386th birthday.
20 days ago, we confirmed the first three cases of COVID-19 in Maryland. All three were passengers on an Egyptian Nile River cruise. I immediately issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency. We submitted a budget for coronavirus expenses and emergency legislation allowing us to transfer all necessary resources from the state’s rainy day fund. At my direction, the Maryland Department of Health began working with the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, to coordinate surge planning. And we elevated the state response to activation level.
19 days ago I directed the Maryland insurance commissioner to require all state health insurers to waive any cost sharing copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles associated with testing for the coronavirus. We enacted legislation into law and convened a coronavirus response team composed of leading doctors and scientists in the region. We canceled all out-of-state travel for state employees and advised all state agencies to prepare for a period of mandatory telework.
15 days ago our state had 9 confirmed cases of COVID-19. I convened an emergency meeting of our entire cabinet, met with leaders of the state’s long-term care community, and issued recommendations to our state nursing home facilities in an effort to protect older Marylanders.
14 days ago the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a global pandemic. Maryland had 9 confirmed cases of COVID-19. We immediately moved toward an all-appointment system at the Motor Vehicle Administration, and Maryland health benefits exchange established a special enrollment period specifically for the coronavirus. We restricted access to nursing homes.
13 days ago we confirmed the first case of community transmission of COVID-19 in Maryland and immediately turned our focus from containment to mitigation. I directed the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to move to its highest activation level and enacted an executive order activating the National Guard.
At my direction all nonessential state employees began a mandatory period of telework. We restricted access to state buildings, including the State House, and issued an executive order prohibiting gatherings or events of more than 250 people. We closed all senior activity centers, closed the cruise ship terminal at the port of Baltimore. We directed all hospitals to immediately adopt new visitor policies, suspended visits to all Maryland state prisons, and at the direction of Dr. Karen Salmon, state superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education, all Maryland public schools closed statewide for 2 weeks.
9 days ago our state had 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19. I enacted an executive order to shut down all bars and restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms across the state, prohibited any gatherings of more than 50 people, and activated 250 Maryland State Police troopers of the Maryland field force to help with enforcement.
I enacted an executive order directing the Maryland Department of Health to conduct an assessment to open closed hospitals and to take other measures necessary to immediately increase our capacity by an additional 6,000 beds.
We activated the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps and issued an executive order to allow any practitioner who holds a valid out of state or expired medical license of the ability to practice in our state.
We activated 2200 members of the National Guard and issued executive orders to prohibit utility companies from shutting off service or charging late fees and/or prohibit the eviction of any tenant during the state of emergency.
8 days ago our state had 57 cases of coronavirus. I issued a proclamation to postpone the April election and directed the state board of elections to implement a vote-by-mail system for the 7th district special election.
We moved to 100% cashless tolling statewide to reduce person-to-person interactions and dramatically reduced MARC train, local bus, light rail, metro, and other commuter bus services.
7 days ago it was my sad duty to report the first death in Maryland as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
As chairman of the National Governors Association I convened and a led a call with all of my fellow governors across the country. We agreed to five immediate priorities that we requested of the federal government. First, we agreed to push for dedicating at least 50% of the phase 3 supplemental directed to the states. We, second, pushed for increased access for production and supply of PPE, masks, test kits, ventilators, and other supplies. We pushed for authorization of title 32 to give governors maximum flexibility with the use of the National Guard. We, fourth, governors agreed to push federal leaders to provide guidance on how the Defense Production Act could be implemented. Fifth, the governors requested a delay and greater flexibility in both the completion of the 2020 census and the transition to Real ID.
6 days ago at my direction the Maryland Department of Transportation began restricting access to the BWI terminal for ticketed passengers and badged airport employees only. We also amended our previous executive order based on new CDC guidelines to prohibit events of more than 10 people in close proximity. And we closed all shopping malls and entertainment venues. The board of regents of the university system in Maryland made the decision to keep students off campus for the remainder of the semester.
Through phase 1 of our surge plan, 900 beds have been made immediately available on a new floor at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore City.
2 days ago we had 288 confirmed cases of COVID-19. I enacted an executive order closing all nonessential businesses in the state, ramped up enforcement actions against crowds and gatherings, and rolled out a $175 million immediate relief package for Maryland workers and small businesses.
While we’re thankfully not at the level of infection and death that we’re seeing in some other states, we’ve been taking swift, aggressive, and unprecedented actions in an effort to stop hundreds of thousands of people from becoming infected and to save the lives of thousands of Marylanders.
In spite of these aggressive actions, this crisis continues to escalate at a rapid pace. And as I have been repeatedly warning over the past 3 weeks, as of this morning, Maryland now has 423 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an additional 74 cases in the past 24 hours, the largest one-day rise to date.
We now have positive cases in 22 out of our 24 jurisdictions. Sadly, yesterday a Prince George’s County man in his 60s who suffered from an underlying medical condition became the fourth Marylander to have died as a result of the coronavirus.
First state employee died of COVID-19, a research professor at UMBC, who actually lived in New York and was counted as a New York case.
Two midshipmen at the Naval Academy here in Annapolis and several members of both the University of Maryland College Park and Anne Arundel College communities have also tested positive for the virus.
While COVID-19 still appears to be more deadly to older citizens over 60, 217 individuals with the virus in Maryland are between the ages of 20-50. The vast majority of people in our state who have tested positive so far are in their 40s. And we have children as young as 10 months old who have the virus here in Maryland.
There are now more than 900 cases in the capital region, 55,000 cases in all 50 states across America, and 436,481 cases in 196 countries around the world.
The reality is, this crisis is really just beginning here in our state and across America. People are looking for certainty, but the truth is, we simply don’t yet know how bad it’s going to get or how long it’s going to last or how successful these social distancing actions are going to be in flattening the curve.
What we do know is that it is not going to be over in a matter of days or even weeks. And as I have been saying over and over again since day 1, the number of cases is going to continue to rapidly and dramatically rise. It is critically important that every single person remains vigilant and continues doing their part by staying in place in their homes as much as possible so that we can break the back of this virus.
According to the CDC guidance that was issued yesterday, any Marylander or anyone visiting Maryland who has recently spent time in New York or visited the tristate area must quarantine in place and limit all contact with others for at least 14 days.
I have formally submitted a request for a presidential disaster declaration for the state of Maryland to help provide funding for state and local governments as well as nonprofits, such important initiatives as disaster unemployment insurance, hazard mitigation, and emergency protective measures. This declaration will be another important step in our aggressive and coordinated response to COVID-19.
Later today I will be chairing another call of the National Governors Association. The nation’s governors are working hard to speak with a unified voice and to drive further decisive action from our leaders in Washington. We have another call scheduled for tomorrow with the governors and with the White House, and we will continue to push for greater progress on the priorities that we submitted last week. We still need much more progress on ramping up the production of PPE, test kits, ventilators, and other necessary equipment. We still need more federal resources directly to the states that are on the front lines of this crisis.
Last week the governors requested that one half of the stimulus package, the third stimulus package, go directly to the states, and I pressed the issue in calls with the vice president and with Treasury secretary and leaders in both houses of Congress. The good news is that the Senate has agreed to some aid to the states, and while it’s still not enough, I know that they’re negotiating back and forth with the House, and it’s encouraging that both parties seem to have reached an agreement. I urged Congress to pass the stimulus package today, and I want to thank our federal partners for taking swift action on this, although we’re going to come back again and ask for additional funding for the states and local governments to help with this crisis in the next round of stimulus. We want to thank them for taking swift action on extending the deadline for the 2020 census, which we pressed for, and for acting just this week to extend the deadline for the transition to Real ID, which we requested.
We’re still awaiting final action on Title 32 for all of the states. They did it for the first three states having the biggest issues. All of our citizen soldiers stepping up in the states need the exact same help so that FEMA and federal government can help cover the costs of these National Guard important missions.
While we continue to make rapid progress in our plan to increase hospital capacity here in Maryland in order to meet the demand created by the escalating spread of the virus, last week we were successful in making 900 beds immediately available within our existing hospitals by freeing up capacity. As of today, we have now been able to make 2400 beds available, which is actually weeks ahead of the schedule that we had been shooting for, and it’s good news.
Yesterday I toured a site of a field hospital in the Baltimore Convention Center. National Guard is ready. It’s a great partnership between University of Maryland Medical Center and Johns Hopkins. The guard working with a number of our state agencies were waiting for FEMA to deliver these beds and the equipment needed, and then we’ll be ready to get that off the ground.
We’re also expanding the capacity of our clinics and hospitals. But besides expanding the physical footprint, we also need to expand — in addition to the stuff we’re looking for, help from the federal government, with respect to the supplies needed, we also must expand the manpower that’s required to staff these facilities. So, as I mentioned earlier, I issued an order last week to fast track the licensing processes for out-of-state healthcare practitioners and those in our state with expired medical licenses. I also issued an order to provide more authority to grant emergency medical technicians and paramedics to be able to work in our clinics and field hospitals. And we enacted the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps, a force of 5,000 dedicated medical and healthcare professionals who volunteered and are ready to assist in any public health emergency. Last week we had 700 members who stepped up, ready to be activated. Since Friday, more than 2300 more people have signed up to be a part of this initiative, bringing the total workforce up to more than 7300 individuals who are willing to assist. These volunteers have signed up from every single jurisdiction in the state, including both medical personnel and people from other professions, including behavioral health specialists, engineers, childcare workers, teachers, and construction workers, all willing to help with the crisis.
In the spirit of service in Maryland, it’s always at its best when we need people the most, but we still need more help, so we encourage people to continue to take a look at how they might be able to help their neighbors and their communities.
Today I’m directing the Health Department also to immediately institute a program to encourage and to allow medical students and nursing students and people studying to get degrees in medical technician studies from our universities, our colleges, and our community colleges, to be able to be a part of this program and to assist and be a part of the effort. To sign up, to try to be a part of this program, you can go to mdresponds.health.maryland.gov.
To help older Marylanders get through this crisis, Maryland has just received $4 million in federal funding to help our communities provide at-home meals for older adults, which is important since community centers are closed and some family caregivers are unable to assist older loved ones.
Maryland is also the first state in America to provide free telephonic service to check in on older residents, and we’re urging Maryland seniors to make use of this service during the COVID-19 state of emergency so that they can receive a check-in call every day at a regularly scheduled time, where we’ll have someone touch base with them to make sure that they’re okay and see if they need any help. To sign up for that, just call 1-866-50-check. We encourage our seniors to take advantage of that.
Last week we launched the Maryland Unites initiative, to highlight ways that Marylanders can volunteer in assisting their neighbors and communities in the days and weeks ahead. We encourage people who want to help to go to Maryland Unites.
Over the next three days, the University of Maryland Medical Center will be partnering with the Red Cross. I mentioned last week I spoke with the national president of the Red Cross who said they have a critical need for blood here in Maryland and across the country. We will be partnering to hold a blood drive to address the critical shortage of blood during this pandemic. Those interested can sign up at redcross.org.
Individuals and businesses across Maryland continue to step up to help aid in this massive effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to help their neighbors. There are hundreds. I just want to give a shoutout to a couple, including Sagamore Spirit Distillery. I mentioned before that many of our small distilleries were working on this, but Sagamore is a pretty big one. They now have begun the process of making hand sanitizer for Johns Hopkins. The distillery is working on an initial batch of 54,000 liters with plans to make much more to meet the escalating demand caused by the crisis.
Last weekend, Marlin Steel Wire Products, another Baltimore-based manufacturing company, had their workers fulfill a huge rush order to make stainless steel COVID-19 test tube racks.
And I just want to thank those two companies and all the other large and small businesses who have stepped up to be a part of this all-hands-on-deck effort.
Dr. Karen Salmon, the superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education, has some major announcements to make regarding the Maryland public schools and childcare facilities across the state. But before I turn the podium over to her, I just want to take a moment to speak directly to Maryland’s parents, teachers, and students. I know how incredibly difficult and confusing this last couple of weeks has been for you. Teachers want to know when they will be able to get back to their lessons and when they’ll see their students again. Parents are concerned about how their kids will be able to continue to learn, how they’re going to be able to handle childcare. And the students want to know when they’ll be able to get back to their normal lives and when they can see their friends and their classmates again.
There’s a lot of confusion and fear and anxiety and uncertainty right now. It’s frustrating and challenging. I just want all of you to know that there’s nothing more important to us than your health and well-being and your education, and I want you to know that there are tremendous group of people, your superintendents and people in your local school systems and state Board of Education. There are a whole lot of people across the state working around the clock to try to come up with good answers to these questions, and I want to thank them for their efforts. We’re all in this together, and we will get through this together.
So thank you.
With that, I’ll turn it over to Dr. Karen Salmon.
KAREN SALMON: Thank you, Governor.
After lengthy discussions with health experts from around the state, I have made the decision, along with the state Board of Education, to extend the closure of all public schools in Maryland for an additional 4 weeks, through April 24th, 2020.
We do not make this decision lightly. However, with the challenges facing our state and our country, we have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our school communities and the communities at large. I’m working in concert with all local school system superintendents, multiple calls per week, in order to provide continuity of learning to all our students across Maryland during this time. We are also working closely with every school system to address issues affecting their ability to provide educational services to all of their students. It also should be noted that we will be diligent in providing services to our students with disabilities.
Local superintendents have provided me with their plan for the continuity of learning during this additional closure period. My staff at the Maryland State Department of Education has been reviewing the plans and determining what supports and resources the state can provide where needed.
More information will be available in the coming days as we work collaboratively on a statewide plan that maintains equitable standards and expectations for students.
Local school systems will be communicating with their individual school communities as they move forward with implementing their plans.
We also plan to resume the continuity of learning next week, and will be working closely with superintendents, local school administrators, and our teachers to activate that plan. While it is too early to definitively say exactly when schools will reopen, we will continue to reassess the situation as we move forward.
Additionally, while childcare and daycare facilities throughout the state, they may remain open at this time, our urgent focus is ensuring that there are childcare options for the children of essential personnel. We understand that those in the workforce providing essential services such as those in our hospital and healthcare facilities and food distribution sites may need childcare provided to continue in their roles. However, if another parent or guardian is able to stay home with your children, you should do that. Your children should be home with you.
For those essential personnel that are unable to provide care, we have worked diligently in the past week to identify locations across Maryland that will provide childcare. At this juncture, we have identified space for more than 1200 school-aged children of essential personnel at various locations throughout Maryland in spaces such as the YMCAs, the Maryland School for the Blind, public libraries, parks and recreation facilities, and Boys and Girls Clubs. We are hoping to increase this capacity to more than 2500 spaces in the coming days.
Essential personnel working in response to COVID-19 pandemic who require childcare are immediately able to register for these services through a free referral hotline called LOCATE. The number to reach this referral is 1-877-261-0060. We will provide additional guidance and information immediately following today’s press conference on the Maryland state website.
I am so grateful for our educators and childcare providers across the state for their commitment to our children and their school communities.
I also want to recognize the incredible dedication and commitment that our food services staff and volunteers have exhibited as they have continued to serve and transport meals to children at the 500 plus food distribution sites we have set up across Maryland. Just as a reminder for any family looking for a location to pick up meals for a student, please visit mdsummermeals.org for a list of the locations in your area.
I appreciate everyone’s cooperation during this difficult time, and I’m looking forward to working with our local superintendents and school leaders in the coming days as we move forward.
GOVERNOR HOGAN: Thank you, Dr. Salmon.
I want to give a special shoutout for the things she just mentioned, about opening up the centers where we’re making sure the kids get fed. I had the opportunity to visit one of them yesterday in Baltimore City. I remember when we first announced that we were gonna make sure kids got these meals, I think the first time we said we had 143 open. And then we said we had 300 open. Now we have over 500 of these open and they’re doing a wonderful job. I want to thank all of these people, including our National Guard, who are assisting the schools to help get that done.
With that, I’ll be happy to take a couple of questions.
>> (Question off mic).
GOVERNOR HOGAN: A lot of this is semantics about how people describe things. There are a number of states who said they were sheltering in place, but they were still leaving all these businesses open. They were just saying, we are having shelter in place but you can do all these things.
We did it the opposite way. We said, we want you to shelter in place but we’re going to close all these nonessential businesses. I believe ours is actually more effective. There was a thing that came out yesterday that said we were the third most aggressive state in the country. We’re not nearly as effective yet as places like New York and California and Washington, but we’re taking pretty aggressive steps, so instead of ordering people in their homes, we’re just encourage them to stay in their homes and we’re keeping them from going in large groups and we’re keeping only the businesses open that are important.
We’ve had tremendous cooperation. I thank the people of Maryland for cooperating with these directives because while at first we weren’t, people are taking it much more seriously. We had 500 some calls between state and local police about going out and doing checks yesterday. I think we only had 14 incidents, statewide, of groups where they had to say, hey, please disperse, you have more than 10 people congregating, and everyone willingly immediately cooperated. So we’ve had no real incidents of people ignoring the directives.
>> (Question off mic.)
GOVERNOR HOGAN: So far, like I said, we have had no incidents. We’ve had 14 cases of crowds. We have had, to my knowledge, very little problem with businesses saying they’re going to stay open until they get caught. Essential businesses are staying open, and we want them to. They have to provide what people need.
The ones that are not essential need to be closed down, and if they’re not and we find out about it, they’re going to be closed down.
>> (Question off mic.)
GOVERNOR HOGAN: I think honestly that’s something maybe Karen would want to address because she’s had conversations not only with the Health Department but with all the local superintendents. None of us can say, in 4 weeks, everything is going to be great and it’s going to be safe for all the kids to go back to school.
It’s somewhat aspirational, and it gives 4 weeks for us to try to have all the local schools prepare, make sure the continuity of education, that they’re providing all the things.
You know, it would be wonderful if we get to the point where we bend the curve, but we can’t send kids back obviously to things that are unsafe when things are climbing and people are getting infected.
Over the next 4 weeks they’ll be watching and monitoring daily, and the school system may make additional decisions in the future. The first time they said we will close for 2 weeks and reassess, which is what they did. Nothing is carved in stone. But right now the decision is to spend those 4 weeks trying to figure it out.
>> (Question off mic.).
GOVERNOR HOGAN: So I know our team knows the exact dollar amount. But we pushed for one half of the entire stimulus package, all 55 governors did. We did not get that. We said that the immediate already expended dollars that we need is about 150 billion which is in the Senate package for all the states. They put the immediate 150 billion in the Senate. It hasn’t passed the House yet. We hope it will this morning. That does include money that Maryland needs. Not nearly enough. We’ll be talking about that further this afternoon with all the Governors and further tomorrow with the White House and with the leaders of Congress.
>> (Question off mic.)
GOVERNOR HOGAN: Yes and yes. Yes, it’s still a struggle. Yes, every state is still short of all of those things. But yes, we’ve also seen some improvements. So from the standpoint of we have received some supplies through FEMA, not enough, but we have seen some of our own supplies we’ve been able to get in through private sources. But there’s no question there’s still shortages of all these things which is why we keep pushing at the state level and the state’s collectively pushing at the federal level.
>> (Question off mic.)
GOVERNOR HOGAN: We’ve been attempting to buy all those things everywhere, across the globe, and we’re buying things from other countries, we’re buying things across America, we’re pushing for all of that.
But we put a request in to FEMA for 138,000 test kits which we have not received.
All of those things, there are many things in — it’s not as simple as saying how many test kits. As you pointed out, there’s swabs, there’s reagents, there’s many components of the test kits. And if the state doesn’t really have them all, the state lab has a certain amount that we use, the hospitals are also doing their own purchasing, the private labs are doing their own and buying their own. So we’re doing an assessment and an inventory of exactly what everyone has and what they need, and we’re trying to help them all get more of everything. So it’s not an exact number and it’s changing every day and hourly, what’s coming in.
It’s much better than it was last week and nowhere near where it needs to be.
>> (Question off mic.).
GOVERNOR HOGAN: That’s a great question. Mostly we’re doing a lot more testing. So at the beginning, the testing was restricted to only a certain number of people. Then it was broadened. We were only doing the state lab testing.
Now there’s multiple hospitals doing their own testing. There’s private labs doing their own testing.
The higher numbers do not necessarily mean that things are getting worse; it just means we’re testing more people. So we’re trying to get all — we don’t have enough data to figure out all exactly what it means, but it’s not as alarming as it sounds because it’s just a lot more people getting tested. Doesn’t mean the percentages are going up.
>> (Question off mic.).
GOVERNOR HOGAN: I know that that’s one of the things they’re talking about. I don’t know if you want to address that.
>> You know, we are going to look at all kinds of creative solutions going forward. We may look at an extended year. We just haven’t — we’re trying to get geared up to do the continuity of learning piece first, and then we’ll have some time once we get that down and get to understand how effective that is, then we can start planning for other kinds of things that we might need to going forward.
>> (Question off mic.).
>> The plans are going to all hopefully be on their websites very soon so that folks can go on and look and certainly compare from one place to another.
But what I’m going to try to do, because I think it’s really important for equity across the state, is to come up with what are the standards that we really expect to have to be the baseline that everybody gets, and then if other districts are able because they can do more remote distance learning, they can add on to that, but we want to make sure every student has the basics going forward this next 4 weeks.
And we also are going to have to come up with some very creative ways to make sure we’re educating our students with disabilities.
>> I’ve heard parents saying, I don’t know what else to do with my child, I’m not a math teacher.
>> By the way, I’ve heard from many of those parents as well. I sent something just recently, as the Governor says, we’re not sure, it seems like months we’ve been doing this, but last week we sent out a whole, was about 35 pages of websites that parents could get on and click on just through the links. So we’re really trying to push out resources to parents in the interim.
>> (Question off mic.).
>> That’s beyond my doctorate.
>> (Question off mic.).
>> Sure, I understand that question. And as the Governor said, we are seeing in our confirmed cases, as well as in other states, not just older people as has been typically the message, but we see that across all age groups, including children.
The difference is that it appears that younger people are less likely to get the severe form of the disease and be hospitalized as opposed to younger people. The children that we have here in Maryland, for example, have not been hospitalized.
However, that makes the point of how very important it is that people stay home and that there’s not the kind of mixing, unfortunately even between generations that we take for granted, because children can absolutely have this disease and can be spreaders. So it’s something to be aware of.
>> (Question off mic.)
>> Absolutely. And I do want to say that the work of the local Health Departments, for every one of these cases, has triggered a very thorough investigation by the local Health Department to go through all of the comings and goings and whereabouts of all of these cases so that people who may have been in close contact and may have been at risk are notified as well as being tested.
>> (Question off mic.)
>> I tell you, that is a very fluid number. Every day we get a report and every day it’s going up. We have reports coming from hospitals, from our hospital partners, as well as from our EMS partners. So we are at a point now, we are not at a crisis situation with regard to hospital beds. And in large part that’s because hospitals, providers, have taken advantage, have complied with the orders to say, it is now time to cancel elective nonurgent procedures. So in so doing, we see a dramatic drop in the usual senses but we are watching very closely to make sure there’s adequate capacity going forward.
>> (Question off mic.)
>> Yeah, we know of right now 17 individuals of that cumulative number who are now fully recovered, they’re outside of their isolation period, and we’re very happy that they are back and being healthy.
We’re watching that very closely as well as the hospitalizations.
>> (Question off mic).
>> Yeah, we’re watching the established drugs that are on the market with very important uses for people who have, for example, lupus and other conditions that rely on these drugs. We’re watching them closely.
>> (Question off mic.)
>> Right. There’s really important research going on now to see if those people can contribute plasma, for example, that would have protective antibodies. Again, Marylanders stepping up. They have come forward and said they are willing to participate in those studies.
>> Some states are providing numbers of people tested. Is that something…
>> Absolutely. We’re working to get our arms around that. As the Governor said, we have testing going on at the state lab. We can get those numbers. But the hospital testing and commercial labs, high volume laboratories located outside of the state, while they all must report to us immediately on a positive case, and they do, what we want to know now is exactly how many tests they’re doing that are negative so we can get a sense of the volume and also the positivity rate for our state.
>> (Question off mic.).
GOVERNOR HOGAN: I have given absolutely zero attention to any of the 680 bills that were passed at the end of the legislative session. I know that we have a legislative team that is all out of the office, working remotely from home, who are looking at those, but actually no bill has been sent to the Governor’s office. The legislature has not forwarded any bills. We expect sometime over the next month they will. We then have a month to review them. The Attorney General’s office will review them all and give us advice, and then our team will look at them.
Quite frankly, I have no time to review 680 bills as we’re trying to keep people alive.
>> Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ve heard and what you might be hoping for?
GOVERNOR HOGAN: Well, the good news is, in part of our package we received from FEMA yesterday, we did have a delivery of ventilators. It was not the amount that we requested and not enough, but we appreciate them and will be distributing some of them out to our hospitals.
But the vice president and I had a personal conversation about this. He also talked about it in his press conference, about the ramping up of production of ventilators which they’re trying to do at the national level.
And also about the conversion of a certain type of ventilators that with a small modification could be utilized. If that’s something — we’ve discussed that with our team here, with all of our doctors and hospitals, and they think that’s also promising for at least a small part of the solution.
>> How many did you ask for and how many did you get?
GOVERNOR HOGAN: I’m not sure we want to give that out. It was a sizable chunk of what we asked for but not all.
>> (Question off mic.)
GOVERNOR HOGAN: Look, you know, I’m a hopeful guy and I would certainly love to have the thing all resolved as quick as possible, but I don’t think we can predict what this virus is going to do. You can’t put a time frame on saving people’s lives. We’re going to make decisions based on the scientists and the facts.
All right. Thank you.