Maryland Governor Discusses COVID-19 Response

Governor Hogan Discusses Maryland’s COVID-19 Response on CBS ‘Face the Nation’

ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) During an appearance on CBS ‘Face the Nation’ today, Governor Larry Hogan discussed Maryland’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the importance of keeping children in school.

On COVID-19 in Maryland:

“We have been impacted really hard over the past couple of weeks, and we reached a higher point than we ever did during the nearly two years of this crisis.  We’ve got a little bit of positive news in that it’s not quite a trend, but over the past four or five days we’ve seen fairly dramatic decreases in both hospitalizations, positivity rate, and case rate.  So it’s hopeful, and we’re going to keep an eye on that over the next 10 days to see if we continue.  But we’re still in a pretty tough spot, and that’s why I declared a state of emergency.

“We did a lot of things to try to help increase the capacity of our hospital systems, sent in 1,000 members of the National Guard, and we’re taking a lot of actions directly.”

On immunity testing for nursing home residents:

“Five or six months ago, we did move forward on the third booster ahead of the federal government because we had done our own antibody study in our nursing homes which were some of our most vulnerable patients that we were very concerned about.  The CDC was taking their time and so we’re now doing another very similar antibody study in our nursing homes to see if we should move forward with a fourth dose at least for our most vulnerable patients that are at risk.”

On the importance of in-person learning:

“Our school systems have not been overrun.  We started vaccinating teachers more than a year ago, as a priority.  That was what they asked for.  We provided the masks, we provided hundreds of millions of dollars for filtration systems to try to keep our kids safe.  And I understand people being concerned about kids—we all are—but we missed a year of learning in some cases, and it’s absolutely not the way to go to keep the entire school system shut down.”

On the federal administration’s testing plan:

“We’re trying to get as much help as we can from the federal government, but you know, quite frankly, they’re falling short in a couple of ways.

“The president announced nearly a month ago, before Christmas, that he was going to distribute these half a billion rapid tests out across the country, and so far we haven’t seen any.  We were acquiring our own.  The states have been on the front lines throughout this crisis.  And now it appears as if rather than producing more of these rapid tests, the federal government is just purchasing the ones that we had already contracted for.  So now they’re hijacking the tests that we already had plans for.”