Maryland Governor Defends Coronavirus Test Kit Deal After Trump Criticism

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan defended his state’s decision to buy a half-million coronavirus test kits from a South Korean company, after President Donald Trump called out Hogan at the White House press briefing the previous night. 

Speaking on MSNBC Tuesday morning, Hogan said he was focused on saving lives in Maryland and did what the president had asked.

“This is exactly what the president has told us to do. Just yesterday, he was saying the governors are responsible for this. We’re on the front lines. We should just get it done. Then we did get it done and we get criticized. So I’m not sure how things could be different,” he said. 

President Trump said Monday evening, “I don’t think he needed to go to South Korea. I think he needed to get a little knowledge — would have been helpful.” 

Hogan said he had a “great” conversation earlier Monday with Vice President Mike Pence and members of the coronavirus task force. 

“Somehow it went off the rails yesterday in that press conference and I have no idea why,” the governor said. 

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday that he acquired an additional 500,000 coronavirus test kits because of a deal with a South Korean company. Prince George’s County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins has the details.

Here’s where we are Tuesday in the fight against coronavirus in the D.C. area. 

More than 1,000 people have now died of coronavirus in D.C, Maryland and Virginia, and officials announced the largest daily increase in deaths, at 99 lives lost.  

At least 1,020 people with the virus in the region have died. The number of people known to have been infected is 26,412, with 3,098 cases in D.C., 13,684 in Maryland and 9,630 in Virginia. Go here for full details.

Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia

COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia

Source: DC, MD and VA Health Departments
Credit: Anisa Holmes / NBC Washington

D.C. has seen a smaller number of coronavirus infections than anticipated, but the District will continue to prepare for an expected surge, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday morning on News4. A surge in infections is expected in mid-May to June, with peak demand for hospital beds to follow. 

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser talks about the city's coronavirus response with News4's Eun Yang and Aaron Gilchrist.

Virginia saw three straight days with a drop in the state’s number of new virus cases. Gov. Ralph Northam and federal officials said they want to see a 14-day trend of declining cases before they change social distancing guidelines or restrictions on businesses. 

The D.C. organization Casa Ruby, which serves homeless LGBTQ youth, has seen triple the number of people in need as usual

"For many clients, we are the only lifeline that they have left. Many of them will not be getting government checks, and for many of them, if we close the doors, they have lost a lifeline that they have to survive," Executive Director Ruby Corado said. 

The founder of an LGBTQ shelter has seen the a spike in the number of youth she helps since the coronavirus pandemic began. News4's Meagan Fitzgerald has the story.

And now something a little cheerful: A volunteer group called Bike Match DC is helping health care workers and delivery workers get bikes through a no-contact handoff system

Your old bike could be one way to help health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Bike Match DC is using donated bicycles to help. News4's Jackie Bensen reports.

Neither D.C.’s mayor nor the governors of Maryland and Virginia were scheduled to address the public Tuesday.  

Contact Us