In case you missed it, new articles from The New York Times, Yahoo News, and Fox News detail Governor Hogan’s national leadership and decision-making to save countless lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
The reports describe how Governor Hogan “put his health department on alert in early January when he saw the virus’s deadly crawl through China” and “took drastic action early,” understanding the threat from listening to “health care professionals” and personally as “a recent cancer survivor.” As head of the National Governors Association, Governor Hogan convened a meeting for Dr. Anthony Fauci to brief more than two dozen governors in early February – “an eye-opener for a lot of the governors.”
He has also become “the de facto leader of the response in the Washington, D.C. metro area,” as Virginia Democrat Governor Ralph Northam and D.C. Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser have followed his lead. In these roles, Governor Hogan has remained “apolitical,” publicly countering false claims without placing blame.
In addition, Governor Hogan has been willing to pursue outside-the-box ideas, including leveraging his unique relationship with South Korea and his wife’s “icon” status there to pursue coronavirus test kits.
Maryland’s Governor, a Republican, Is Willing to Spar With Trump for Supplies
Larry Hogan is head of the National Governors Association and charged with representing state leaders who fear they’re unprepared to fight the coronavirus.
The New York Times
“Larry Hogan was annoyed. On a conference call, Mr. Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, had just learned that several South Korean companies were ready to ship more coronavirus test kits to his state. But they were stymied because the Food and Drug Administration had not yet approved their use.
‘I don’t care if we have F.D.A. approval or not,’ Mr. Hogan said into a speakerphone in the governor’s reception room, where he was flanked by a container of Purell and a 9 a.m. Diet Coke, with aides sitting six feet apart around a large table. ‘We’ve got people dying,’ he said, adding, ‘I don’t want to wait for permission.’
Frustrated by limited support and unclear guidance from the Trump administration, governors across the country, including some Republicans, have been squaring off with the White House and striking out on their own to secure supplies. Mr. Hogan, in his second term in a very blue state, has tried to stay miles ahead of the virus’s incursion here, like several other governors — notably Jay Inslee of Washington and Mike DeWine of Ohio — whose responses have been given better marks from Americans than the president’s.
Mr. Hogan put his health department on alert in early January when he saw the virus’s deadly crawl through China. On Monday, he issued a stay-at-home order for residents, a few weeks after declaring a state of emergency when the first three cases emerged in Maryland last month.
He is also the head of the National Governors Association, charged with representing governors’ needs at the White House, where officials wish he would find it in his heart to say a few flattering words about Mr. Trump now and then. Instead he has bluntly demanded more aid from Washington, including more test kits and supplies and help shoring up state budgets.
‘We’re still not satisfied’ with the federal response to states’ needs, Mr. Hogan said this week.
Mr. Hogan has also found himself the de facto leader of the response in the Washington, D.C., metro area, where the disease has begun its exponential march. The governor of Virginia and the mayor of Washington — a city where the death rate is well above the national average — instantly followed his order this week, grounding around 15 million residents.
As of Thursday night, there have been at least 4,697 confirmed cases and 89 deaths in the three areas combined, about triple from a week ago. The two states and Washington have an unusually intrinsic relationship; they share a metro system and are home to thousands of federal workers who are central to the region’s work force and the functioning of federal government.
Mr. Hogan’s moves have major implications for the region. He has immediately hit those defiantly socializing with some of the largest fines or criminal charges in the nation. There have already been two arrests in Maryland, including of a man who hosted a bonfire party for about 60 people after the state banned large groups.
His aggressive policing is one of several reasons Mr. Hogan has slid onto center stage among governors whose states have been hammered by the coronavirus.
This week, he collaborated with a Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, on an opinion piece pleading for federal assistance — after President Trump attacked her as ‘that woman.’ He has been a critic of the president’s overly optimistic prognostications, saying Mr. Trump’s assurances that testing problems were a thing of the past were simply not true.
For Mr. Hogan, the need to respond quickly is also personal. He is a recent cancer survivor and over 60, which puts him in a high-risk group for the virus. His preparation for this moment, he said, was seeded in the 2015 Baltimore riots, which happened 90 days into his first term.
‘I knew that taking quick decisive action was better than hesitating,” he said in a (socially distant) interview in his office on Wednesday. ‘I think the public was not where I was on the knowledge. There were folks saying this is no big deal, it’s not as bad as the flu, it’s going to disappear. And I was saying, ‘No, it’s worse.’
Some Democrats in Maryland have praised him for his aggressive response.
‘Look, I’m a Democrat,’ said Mary Pat Clarke, a city councilwoman from Baltimore. ‘But the governor has done an excellent job leading the state of Maryland through the Covid-19 state of our lives. He has been regular, he has been firm, he has been clear.’
With an eye on the virus’s rampage of China, Mr. Hogan convened a special session during the governors’ meeting in February. They met with top health officials, including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, right before the governors ran to put on formal wear for a White House dinner.
‘Very little was being talked about,” Mr. Hogan said. ‘It was sort of an eye-opener for a lot of the governors, but I think some of them still didn’t take it seriously.”
He, however, began to feel something akin to panic.
‘The next day I came back to my team and said, ‘This is what I just heard, we have to get ready,’ he said. ‘We knew that it wasn’t going to be long before we were going to have to deal with it.’
Mr. Hogan has also leaned on his wife, Yumi Hogan, a Korean immigrant, who was also at the governor’s convention, which included a dinner at the Korean ambassador’s home. As the first Korean first lady in American history, Ms. Hogan has become something of an icon in South Korea. ‘I just grabbed my wife and said, ‘Look, you speak Korean. You know the president. You know the first lady. You know the ambassador. Let’s talk to them in Korean, and tell them we need their help.’ Several companies in South Korea immediately said they would send tests.
‘I don’t think I’ve ever crossed the line and been rude or tried to attack or point fingers or place blame. But I have been willing to stand up when other people haven’t,’ he said. He added, ‘Certainly some of my Republican colleagues probably might think I go too far. Some of the Democratic colleagues might not think I go far enough. But I’m not trying to place blame.’
Maryland has received far fewer N95 masks, respirators and gloves than it has requested from the federal government, according to documents released on Thursday by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. And it has received none of the 100,000 swabs it requested for coronavirus test kits.
Mr. Hogan said his decisions were informed principally by health care professionals, many of them culled from the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, among other local health care providers.
‘I’m not an expert on this, but I’m going to listen to the smartest guys in the room,’ he said, adding: ‘These guys say if we don’t act now, we’re going to have this surge, we’re not going to have ventilators, we’re going to overload the system. We’re not going to have enough health care workers, we’re going to look like New York, and there’s going to be bodies stacked up.’”
The coronavirus ‘crisis found me,’ says Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan
“A two-time cancer survivor, Hogan describes a grueling schedule of battling the coronavirus to keep Maryland’s 6 million residents safe. Whether in a briefing with state officials (in a black fleece Maryland State Police vest) or in a CNN appearance (Army National Guard fleece, also black), he projects a serious, studious demeanor.
His manner is so apolitical that it would be difficult to tell whether Hogan is a Republican or Democrat. He is, in fact, a Republican, one who was reelected in 2018 in a state in which both legislative chambers are bluer than the Chesapeake Bay. But his is a legitimately independent brand of Republicanism, rooted in his father’s having been the first Republican member of Congress to support the impeachment of Richard Nixon.
The younger Hogan ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 1981 and, also unsuccessfully, in 1992. He went to Annapolis to work in state government in 2003. With his mastery of bureaucratic detail, Hogan seems so fundamentally gubernatorial that it would be easy to forget that he was seriously discussed only months ago as a challenger to President Trump for the Republican primaries.
Hogan declined to challenge Trump, but his role in the coronavirus crisis has been a reminder of why he seemed like such an attractive alternative to Trump.
“He is acting based on science, he is based on expert opinion, and he is not making things up as he goes along,” Raskin says.
‘Hogan is acting the way one hopes a chief executive would act in a time like this,’ Raskin says.
Straightforward and pragmatic, Hogan says he has no superpowers, political or otherwise, that have helped him in the fight against the coronavirus. ‘The crisis found me,’ Hogan says. Of course, the crisis found everyone, sometimes in states of denial, confusion or resolve.
‘I saw this coming very early on,’ Hogan says. He watched the crisis worsen in China throughout January and concluded that it was only a matter of time before the coronavirus, which causes a potentially fatal respiratory disease called COVID-19, arrived in the United States.
As head of the bipartisan National Governors Association, Hogan had uncommon reach. On Feb. 9, he convened a meeting at which members of the White House coronavirus task force briefed more than two dozen governors. The briefing was led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Robert Redfield, who heads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After that briefing, Hogan says he ‘sounded the alarm bells’ about the coronavirus, even as Trump continued throughout February to downplay the potential devastation the virus would cause.
The virus did not arrive in Maryland in earnest until early March. On March 6, just as Maryland surpassed a half dozen confirmed coronavirus cases, Hogan created a state coronavirus task force packed with pedigreed experts with ties to Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland. Six days after that, Hogan made Maryland the second state in the nation after Ohio to close all of its schools.
Hogan says he has signed 28 executive orders related to the coronavirus. Among the most recent of these was a shelter-in-place directive issue in concert with the mayor of Washington, D.C., and the governor of Virginia, both of whom are Democrats. The three orders, issued at the same time earlier this week, have in effect shut down one of the largest metropolitan regions in the United States.
‘We have surge modeling that is very frightening,’ he adds. To avoid the kind of shortages now affecting hospitals in New York, Hogan instituted a plan to add 6,000 hospital beds in preparation for a surge.”
Who is Larry Hogan? What to know about Maryland’s governor
“The spread of coronavirus across the nation has led to the rise of governors as the state chief executives have been thrust into the forefront of responding to the pandemic.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has been one of the state leaders who took drastic action early on as COVID-19 cases rose in March, closing all non-essential businesses and schools in his state in the hope of saving ‘thousands of lives.’
‘If we don’t do something to stop this spike in the curve, the fact is we will not have ICU beds and ventilators,’ Hogan told ‘Bill Hemmer Reports.’ You look at what happened in places like Italy and what is happening in New York. We don’t want that to happen in each of our states.’
The Republican governor has said while the governors across the country have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, conflicting messaging from the federal government ‘isn’t helpful.’
‘We don’t want people to be scared, but we do want them to take it seriously and want, you know, the facts to be out there,’ Hogan said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘So we’re going to follow the doctors and the scientists.’
Hogan’s comments came after President Trump originally looked to open the country by Easter before extending social-distancing guidelines to April 30. He appeared on Fox News as Maryland saw a sharp rise in the number of people infected by the coronavirus, including 77 residents at a nursing home.
The Maryland governor has warned that ‘Maryland is going to look more like New York’ in a matter of weeks, referring to the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis.”