What do you do if you are a governor, and the president of the United States is a liar and keeps claiming that he’s given enough testing kits to states for the coronavirus? Well, you can go on national TV and say that the president is lying, which some governors have. Or, if you are the governor of Maryland, you can say to hell with all this waiting bullshit and get on the phone and secure test kits yourself, and that’s exactly what Gov. Larry Hogan did.
With the help of his wife, first lady Yumi Hogan, a Korean immigrant who speaks fluent Korean, Hogan was able to secure a deal with LabGenomics that procured some 500,000 test kits for $9 million.
“This weekend, we took an exponential, game-changing step forward on our large scale testing initiative,” Hogan said, Patch.com reports.
“We’ve been quietly working for a number of weeks on a confidential project called Operation Enduring Friendship. On Saturday, the First Lady and I stood on the tarmac at BWI Airport to welcome the first ever Korean air passenger plane” .... which carried half a million coronavirus tests and an opportunity for Maryland to increase testing.
According to the New York Times, Hogan began working on the deal to acquire tests on March 28, as it had to become abundantly clear to the Republican governor that working with this asshole president was a waste of time.
“The state of Maryland owes an incredible debt of gratitude to the people of South Korea,” the governor said, CBS Baltimore reports. “As Maryland begins its reopening and recovery, Marylanders should feel confident knowing that we have done everything in our power and gone to every length and used every tool at our disposal to defeat this deadly virus.”
Hogan plans to test 20,000 people a day and wants to begin testing as soon as possible.
“This half a million tests is more than the four of the top five states in America have done so far in the entire COVID-19 crisis, so it’s a huge, huge step in the right direction,” Hogan said.
“We’ve ramped up our labs, we’re continuing to ramp up the lab capability,” he added. “10,000 was a very aggressive goal — they’re gonna get mad at me for saying this — but I think I’m going to try to blow through that and do maybe a 200% of what their aggressive goal was and try to get up to 20,000 tests a day.”
Hogan noted that while he was fortunate enough to land a massive amount of tests, it wasn’t lost on him that he had to go outside the country to secure them.
“Luckily, we had a very strong relationship with Korea,” Hogan said, the Times reports. “But it should not have been this difficult.”