ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The first batch of coronavirus tests Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan acquired from South Korea were flawed, according to a report by The Washington Post.
Hogan used nearly $9.5 million in state funding to purchase 500,000 COVID-19 test kits from abroad back in April. But those tests were never used, according to the Post. Instead, Hogan reportedly paid the same South Korean company, LabGenomics, $2.5 million to replace the tests.
On Saturday, First Lady Yumi Hogan and I stood on the tarmac at @BWI_Airport to welcome the first ever Korean Air passenger plane, carrying a very important payload of LabGun #COVID19 test kits which will give MD the capability of performing half a million coronavirus tests. pic.twitter.com/Elf0ADIRnJ
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) April 20, 2020
After getting the replacement tests, the Post reported that they were offered to two private labs for use, but one declined due to possible false positives and the speed of the results. They say 370,000 of the replacement tests were used by the other lab.
In June, Maryland lawmakers voiced concerns about the tests after learning they were “missing some pieces.”
“If it was announced that we bought these tests, and in fact, they were incomplete tests, then we not only deceived Marylanders, we deceived the nation,” Senator Paul Pinsky said.
On Friday, Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis released a statement following The Washington Post’s report, calling Hogan’s acquisition of the tests a “botched publicity stunt.”
“With Governor Hogan, everything seems to be performative. Instead of taking actions that would have actually helped Marylanders, it’s clear that the Governor was only concerned about his own personal optics. He knew the tests had failed and spent $2.5 million of taxpayer money to cover it up; all the while, he wrote about the tests in his memoir — declaring himself a hero. In the middle of a pandemic, Governor Hogan seems to have time to give hour-long speeches about Ronald Reagan’s leadership, but he clearly doesn’t have any time to be a leader himself.
“This complete failure is deeply disappointing — it’s heartbreaking for all those who have lost someone in the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Hogan has forgone any credibility and should apologize to the people of Maryland.”
Hogan said this report is completely false, and that those tests have been the cornerstone of the state’s testing strategy for months.
President Donald Trump joined in on the criticism over the weekend.
Gov. Larry Hogan responded to the tweet, saying if the President had “done your job” the country’s governors would not have had to get their own tests as he said they have done in Maryland.
“Stop golfing and concede,” he said in a tweet.
If you had done your job, America's governors wouldn't have been forced to fend for themselves to find tests in the middle of a pandemic, as we successfully did in Maryland.
Stop golfing and concede. https://t.co/tCXO8etxge
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) November 22, 2020