New York Times: Governor Hogan Leverages Special Relationship with South Korea to Secure 500,000 Tests

As a result of Governor Hogan’s special relationship with South Korea, Maryland has taken a major step towards recovery.

The New York Times reports that Governor Hogan has secured 500,000 coronavirus tests after negotiations with South Korea. Governor Hogan’s wife – Yumi Hogan – personally helped negotiate the final deal “in the middle of the night.” Yumi Hogan is “a Korean immigrant who speaks fluent Korean” and is well-known and regarded in Korea as the first Korean-American First Lady in U.S. history. Governor Hogan and Yumi Hogan personally “greeted the flight” from South Korea on Saturday to ensure the tests arrived unabated.

Governor Hogan has stressed “since the beginning of this crisis” that the lack of adequate testing has been the “number one problem” in the national response. Last week, he identified expanding testing capacity as one of the four key building blocks of Maryland’s recovery phase.

Governor Hogan’s diplomatic triumph is another example of how his results-oriented approach is saving lives and leading Maryland towards recovery.

Governor Hogan will be holding a press conference at 2:00 pm today to announce the details of this major development.

Watch Governor Hogan’s Press Conference Live at the Links Below:




The New York Times reports:

“When Mr. Trump told governors that they needed to step up their efforts to secure medical supplies, Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, took the entreaty seriously and negotiated with suppliers in South Korea to obtain coronavirus test kits.

‘The No. 1 problem facing us is lack of testing,’ said Mr. Hogan, who has been among the many critics of the Trump administration’s repeated claims that states have adequate testing provided by the federal government. ‘We can’t open up our states without ramping up testing.’

He added: ‘Luckily we had a very strong relationship with Korea. But it should not have been this difficult.’

In recent days, his wife, Yumi Hogan, a Korean immigrant who speaks fluent Korean, had been on the phone in the middle of the night helping to secure the final deal with two labs to sell Maryland the tests.

On Saturday, the first Korean Air flight to touch down at Baltimore-Washington International Airport arrived carrying 5,000 tests kits — for which the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies gave their seal of approval as the plane was landing.

‘I was frosted because my team was saying that the F.D.A. approval was going to hold it up,’ Mr. Hogan said in a telephone interview. ‘I didn’t care and was going to get the tests anyway.’

So far, Maryland has conducted 71,577 tests, while 516 people in the state have died from the virus and infections, at nearly 14,000, continue to rise. The new test kits will give the state the capability to make 500,000 new tests, state officials said.

On Saturday, Mr. Hogan, his wife and a group of other state officials greeted the flight to receive the kits. The new tests, once they have passed muster in local labs, will be distributed to the testing centers the state has set up in sporting fields, repurposed vehicle emissions testing centers and other locations.”