ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan detailed how President Donald Trump’s administration “bungled” efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus early, leading states to fend for themselves with it came to COVID-19 testing, in an excerpt from his new book “Still Standing: Surviving Cancer, Riots, a Global Pandemic, and the Toxic Politics that Divide America.” The book will be released on July 28

The Washington Post published the excerpt of the Republican governor’s book Thursday as an op-ed.

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Courtesy: Hogan

Hogan discussed how he and Maryland’s First Lady Yumi made a deal with South Korea to help bolster coronavirus testing in the state after the governor got no help from President Trump, recalling that day in April when he and his wife stood on the tarmac at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport to receive the 500,000 COVID-19 tests kits they had purchased.

“A caravan of Maryland National Guard trucks escorted by the Maryland State Police drove the tests from the airport to a refrigerated, secure warehouse at an undisclosed location,” Hogan wrote in the Post. “The federal government had recently seized three million N95 masks purchased by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. We weren’t going to let Washington stop us from helping Marylanders. This should not have been necessary.”

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: 

“I’d watched as the president downplayed the outbreak’s severity and as the White House failed to issue public warnings, draw up a 50-state strategy, or dispatch medical gear or lifesaving ventilators from the national stockpile to American hospitals. Eventually, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation’s response was hopeless; if we delayed any longer, we’d be condemning more of our citizens to suffering and death. So every governor went their own way, which is how the United States ended up with such a patchwork response. I did the best I could for Maryland,” Hogan continued.

In early February, after the first coronavirus case was reported in the U.S., Hogan hosted the governors for their annual National Governors Association meeting and invited Dr. Anthony Fauci as well as several other renowned health experts to give the governors a private presentation on coronavirus.

“They hit us with detailed presentations and the unfiltered truth,” Hogan said, noting how different the health experts warnings were as compared to the messages from the country’s leader.

Hogan said the NIH came to him for help with testing — when he had called them for help initially.

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“The federal government — a much bigger and better-funded institution, with tens of thousands of scientists and physicians in the civil service — wanted my help! Governors always do the hard work, make the tough decisions and take the political heat. But an undertaking as large as a national testing program required Washington’s help. We expected something more than constant heckling from the man who was supposed to be our leader,” Hogan said.

When Trump said testing was up to the states, that’s when Hogan said he decided to go to South Korea for help.

On Thursday, Hogan appeared on several shows to explain his stance.

On Washington Post Live, Hogan said “The president could have been communicating more directly and more honestly with the people of America and it would have put us in a better position.”

Then on MSNBC, Hogan added there’s been some improvement since he wrote the book.

“I’ve tried to work in a constructive way, but I think they’ve made some improvements since then, quite frankly. But early on in the crisis, there’s no no question that there were serious mistakes that were made and that we could have done things better,” Hogan said.

Hogan also criticized Trump for not listening to his own experts and more recently attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“I think those are some of the biggest mistakes that the President made throughout this pandemic and that was not following the advice of the of the experts, the doctors, the scientist, his own CDC and people like Dr. Fauci, who in my opinion has been the most respected, most trusted voice and the guy that we’re getting the most honest information from throughout this entire crisis,” he said Thursday morning.

“I this is this a recent attack, this campaign against Dr. Fauci… I think it’s probably one of the biggest mistakes that they’ve made, because throughout this, I think many Americans, myself included, have been listening very carefully to the advice and the input and the wisdom of Dr. Fauci and to exclude him and some of the advice from the President’s own team — I think it’s a mistake.”

The White House fought back against Hogan’s criticisms, which White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called “revisionist history” during a Thursday briefing.

“It’s really striking, his comments, especially when you compare them to his past comments,” McEnany told reporters. “This is revisionist history by Governor Hogan, and it stands in stark contrast to what he said on March 19th, where he praised the great communication that the President has had with governors.”

In other excerpts WJZ received, Hogan described his view of the 2015 unrest.

He wrote Freddie Gray should not be confused “with a singer in a church choir.”

Gray’s death sparked weeks of protests and unrest.

Hogan wrote, Gray was a quote “Crips gang-connected, street-level drug dealer with a long criminal rap sheet, well known to these Baltimore city police.”

There’s no evidence Gray was involved in any gang, and even Hogan wrote in the book that’d be no excuse for any mistreatment.

We asked Hogan’s office why he characterized Gray that way, but they offered no response.

Democrats, online rebuked Hogan, criticizing the description as “appalling,” “dehumanizing,” “race baiting,” “disgusting” and “irrelevant” to Gray’s death.

Hogan sharply criticized then Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as being “paralyzed with fear and indecision” during the unrest, recounting how he “saved” the city bringing in the Maryland National Guard.

Regarding Rawlings-Blake’s infamous “space to destroy” comment, Hogan wrote, “in other words, unless the gang members and the out-of-town agitators injured or killed someone, the mayor was going to let them destroy property and cause other kinds of mayhem.”

Rawlings-Blake declined to respond to Hogan’s criticism, which extended to other city leaders.

He describes State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby as a ‘no justice, no peace’ prosecutor who was 0 for 6, arguing she filed charges too quickly against the six city officers involved in Gray’s arrest.

Mosby’s spokesperson as well offered no response.

Read the full op-ed in The Washington Post. 

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Paul Gessler

Comments (7)
  1. Steph says:

    Over 3k Maryland Covid deaths. Hogan maybe you should have been a leader instead of running for your 2024 Democrat Presidential campaign the last 4 months. Maybe, you need to put the blame where it needs to be with China and WHO. Do you expect Trump to do your job as governor. It appears so. If it wasn’t for all the government workers working at home it would have been worse, so don’t pat yourself on the back for lower numbers it had nothing to do with you. You’re about as credible as that goofball Kasich and as pompous as ex senator Flake.

    1. Miguel says:

      I think it’s fair for Hogan to criticize Trump as long as Hogan assumes full responsibility for all the infections and deaths in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other care/gov institutions as well as the increased deaths from other causes directly linked to his lockdown. Sound fair?

      China is ultimately responsible for this pandemic. They tried to contain the virus by shutting down internal travel and imposing severe lockdowns but continued to allow international travel from the infected areas. They obviously wanted this virus to spread around the world, so they wouldn’t be the only ones fighting it. All this tragedy could have been avoided if they hadn’t lied from the start and allowed infectious disease experts worldwide to come in and help them contain it properly. On the bright side at least we know now, which politicians, power brokers, and useful idiots China controls in this US. Almost all of them are leftists.

  2. Goth says:

    Sorry Hogan you need to take care of Maryland before you bash Trump.

  3. chrissfarmer says:

    Trump totally bungled it- that is very true. Blaming China is idiotic, like blaming Germany for measles. There is NO EVIDENCE China deliberately created COVID, but they handled it FAR better than the US has. The WHO is not to blame, Trump pulled us out of it anyhow because they would not have stroked his ego- most of the world won’t. Trump is an epic failure.

    Hogan has only done a fair job here, not as good as he apparently thinks, but better than many states and far far better than Trump. Hogan is not an idiot, I give him that much.. Whatever his future political aspirations are, they should not be a concern right now.

    Hogan has every right to bash Trump- Trump is the reason why this is the most dangerous country on earth right now as far as COVID goes and so many Americans have died…as states w/ no mask laws rent cooler trucks to stack the bodies in as Trump says he’s doing such a great job…………….

  4. aboxoffrogs says:

    Don’t buy this joke of a book. All the fake contrived fights of Governor Hogan. Yea, them Twinkies were tough… The fake news will read you this book why pay for it? You’ve suffered enough. Their subbing in a useless fat guy for the old child molester. Because our “news” media does not question anything we get to live in stupid world in the middle of summer with a mask on our face because the virus will survive in heat and humidly for nanoseconds…perhaps milliseconds… enjoy sheeple. Here is Governor Hogan’s favorite song. 강남스타일 https://youtu.be/9bZkp7q19f0

  5. Ted says:

    Of course Trump has “bungled” it and badly- he is only worried about his pretty well vanished chance to get reelected. Trump is an epic failure, even his own sheeple are seeing the light and abandoning him now. He lied and has no plan for anything.

    Hogan should forget the book and concentrate on the virus- which is very real and if you want a useless fat guy check the Oval Office…or the golf course

    Hey frog, too much Koolaid, the virus does not die in summer weather and can live for 2-3 daus outside the body. Make sure you don’t wear a mask and don;t wash your hands, it’s summer, all the germs died, Trump said so

  6. stemarhan says:

    Somebody please tell the fat man to shut up (the one from Maryland without a neck). He and “President” O’Malley think a little favorable press from the media near the DC market makes them Presidential material. “President” Hogan couldn’t even win the GOP Presidential primary in Maryland much less garner any Democratic support in a national election. His 15 minutes are coming to an end.

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