GREENBELT, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan faced sharp criticism Wednesday about the state’s coronavirus response from Greenbelt Mayor Colin A. Byrd at an event opening a FEMA mass vaccination site in Prince George’s County.
An event organizer even tried to cut off the Greenbelt mayor’s mic while he was speaking.READ MORE: Fewer Blue Crabs In The Chesapeake Bay "Continue A Worrying Trend"
It all happened Wednesday morning when Hogan was touring the new FEMA-operated mass vaccination site at the Greenbelt Metro Station.
After the governor and others toured the new site, the city’s mayor took the microphone.
“We could be looking at more people getting sick and more people dying,” Byrd said, criticizing the governor’s comments on vaccine “entitlement” as well as equity issues and reopening.
VIDEO: Greenbelt Mayor Colin Byrd today criticized Gov. Hogan for vaccine rollout, loosening restrictions "far too quickly", etc. Eight minutes into his remarks, the governor interrupted. A minute later, an event organizer tried to cut the mic. pic.twitter.com/CqUmtXuwuy
— Paul Gessler (@PaulGessler) April 7, 2021
“I want to let you know, Mr. Governor, very respectfully, that you have reopened the state, in my mind, far too quickly,” Byrd added.
Since the state eased capacity restrictions in March, hospitalizations, ICU numbers and the case rate have trended up. Nine minutes into the mayor’s remarks, an organizer cut him off.
“I’ll wrap it up in a second governor,” Byrd added. “You’re in my city, sir.”
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The governor pointed to praise the state has received for its response. More than three million vaccine doses have been administered so far and 44% of Maryland adults have at least one shot.
“I would disagree with every word that he said. The Biden administration, twice this week, praised us for having the best equity effort in the entire country,” Hogan statement.
Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks responded to the criticism by instead focusing on the opening of the site meant to address inequities.
“It does not take talent to spot what’s wrong,” said Alsobrooks, “it takes much more talent and commitment to fix it.”
The Greenbelt Metro site will prioritize county residents but will offer shots to anyone.
“The end of this pandemic is within reach,” Janice Barlow, FEMA regional administrator, said. “Everyone has to get vaccinated for that to happen.”
In a soft opening Tuesday, that Greenbelt station administered about a thousand vaccines. There are currently 12 mass vaccination sites statewide.MORE NEWS: Security Increases After Maryland Man Threatens Gale-Bailey Elementary School