WASHINGTON (WJZ) — President Donald Trump took aim at Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Monday, saying during his daily coronavirus update the governor “didn’t understand too much” about the state’s testing capacity for the coronavirus.
The president made the comments at the beginning of his news conference Monday evening. Vice President Mike Pence held a call earlier in the day with the governors of each state about the country’s “unified efforts to defeat the virus,” Trump said, describing the call as “very positive.”
He then went on to say officials gave each governor a list of labs in their state that can handle additional testing, adding that some governors, including Hogan, didn’t understand it.
“Some of the governors, like as an example the governor from Maryland didn’t really understand the list, he didn’t understand too much about what was going on so now I think he’ll be able to do that, it’s pretty simple,” Trump said. “They have tremendous capacity and we hope to be able to help him out. We’ll work with him and we’ll work with all the governors.”
More from White House briefing: If we have enough tests for everyone to go to phase one, why is the governor of Maryland having to get half a million tests from South Korea? I don’t know what the governor of Md is doing in South Korea but there is excess capacity every day. @wjz pic.twitter.com/P2tcmQKbNN
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) April 21, 2020
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Hogan, a fellow Republican, said in an appearance on CNN minutes later he “didn’t want to get into criticizing back-and-forth,” adding Trump wasn’t on the call with Pence and the other governors.
“I think what the president may be referring to is that they sent out a list to each of the governors of all of the different lab facilities in their states which most of the governors already knew where the labs were in their states,” he said. “I happened to bring up at the beginning of the meeting, ‘We appreciate that list,’ but more than half, most of the ones they sent me in Maryland were all federal facilities including NIH and FDA and Walter Reed and Fort Detrich.”
Hogan went on to say he has “a pretty good understanding of what’s going on” in the state.
Later Monday night, Hogan tweeted he was, “grateful to President Trump for sending us a list of federal labs and generously offering Maryland use of them for #COVID19 testing. Accessing these federal labs will be critical for utilizing the 500,000 tests we have acquired from South Korea.”
I’m grateful to President Trump for sending us a list of federal labs and generously offering Maryland use of them for #COVID19 testing. Accessing these federal labs will be critical for utilizing the 500,000 tests we have acquired from South Korea.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) April 21, 2020
The governor has at times been critical of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the weekend, Hogan called the president’s claim that states have enough tests to reopen their economies “not accurate.”
“To try to push this off to say that the governors have plenty of testing and they should just get to work on testing, somehow we aren’t doing our job, is just absolutely false,” Hogan said in an appearance on CNN Sunday morning.