ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) Governor Larry Hogan today joined CBS This Morning to highlight Maryland’s continued response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor also discussed the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and Maryland’s commitment to resettling Afghan interpreters who aided America’s efforts abroad.
On Special Immigrant Visas:
“These are our allies that worked side-by-side with us, in some cases for 20 years, and we made a commitment to them. We’ve got to get all of our Americans out of there and our allies as well…We want to continue to try to help them relocate because we owe it to them. We made a commitment. We can’t let them down.”
On the handling of U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan:
“I think it was a mistake from the decision making, from the intelligence, from the execution, and from the communications standpoint. The White House seems to be trying to grapple with it, but it’s been done about the opposite of any way you should do it.
“First of all, we shouldn’t have given up Bagram Air Base. We shouldn’t have telegraphed exactly what we were doing to the Taliban, we shouldn’t have made an agreement with them that allowed for a lot of this to happen, and we should’ve made sure we get our people out of there before we pulled out all of our troops.”
On other states blocking mask mandates:
“Not only are they against it, but they’re mandating against it. There are Republican governors who are saying they’re all about freedom, and yet they’re taking away the freedom of local school systems and in some cases businesses to make those decisions for themselves.
“We’ve tried to find the right balance, we’ve been encouraging mask usage. We left it up to the duly elected school boards in our state—that’s who has the power to make those decisions. About two-thirds of our school systems voted to wear masks, others decided not to. But to mandate that they have to or mandate that they cannot doesn’t make sense to me.
“I think it’s a basic conservative Republican principle to let local decision makers make decisions.”