HOGANS SECURE 500,000 TESTING KITS FROM SOUTH KOREA: Maryland owes a debt of gratitude to the people of South Korea, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Monday after securing 500,000 coronavirus tests from the country over the weekend. But Hogan acknowledged Monday that the deal would not have come together if it weren’t for his wife, first lady Yumi Hogan, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.
Hogan described the secret Operation Enduring Friendship as unprecedented, Regina Holmes writes for Maryland Reporter. It required many days and nights of coordination between not only Maryland and South Korean officials but also several federal agencies, Hogan said.
- The governor said the state spent “22 straight days” negotiating directly with the company and the South Korean government, Josh Kurtz reports in Maryland Matters.
- Hogan said securing the tests represents “an exponential, game-changing step forward on our large-scale testing initiative.” The governor praised several high-level state officials who were part of the negotiations, and singled out his wife, Luke Broadwater and Pamela Wood report in the Baltimore Sun.
- In making the announcement, Hogan said the Trump administration “made it clear over and over again” that states “have to go out and do it ourselves.” Testing shortages have stymied the pandemic response across the country, sparking friction between the White House and governors, Fenit Nirappil, Erin Cox and Gregory S. Schneider report in the Washington Post.
- Mike Hellgren of WJZ-TV reports that Hogan said he appreciated Trump’s list on testing facilities, “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.” 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.”
Lillian Reed of the Sun writes that Maryland first lady Yumi Hogan nabbed national attention after she worked to obtain coronavirus test kits for the state from South Korea. A South Korean native, the first lady helped the state secure the tests by making calls to the South Korean ambassador.
- Hogan said the cost of the test kits was $9 million, Dan Schere reports for Bethesda Beat.
TRUMP JABS AT HOGAN: President Donald Trump repeatedly criticized Gov. Larry Hogan during his White House coronavirus briefing Monday, saying over and over that Hogan “didn’t really understand” the federal testing capacity and that he “needed more knowledge,” McKenna Oxeden and Pamela Wood of the Sun report.
- A New York Times article headlined “Trump defends nation’s testing capacity, even as some states scramble for supplies” says the president criticized Gov. Hogan’s move to get testing kits from South Korea saying, “Some states have far more capacity than they actually understand.” He named Hogan, a Republican, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, a Democrat.
OPINION: GOV. LIARS VS. GOV. TRUTH-TELLERS: Post columnist Jennifer Rubin draws a bright line between governors who fawn over President Trump’s falsehoods on what the White House has done to help the states and those, like Gov. Larry Hogan, who tell it like it is.
HOGAN: GRADUAL REOPENING ‘POSSIBLE:’ Faced with growing pressure to ease restrictions on businesses and social interaction, Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday it’s “possible” that parts of the state might see a gradual reopening of commerce and recreation before others. But he quickly cautioned that Maryland has not reached the point in its battle against COVID-19 where such a move would be prudent, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.
MAY GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION NIXED: The presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly announced Monday that there will be no special session of the legislature in May. The General Assembly, which adjourned its session 2 1/2 weeks early in mid-March, had anticipated returning to Annapolis for a special session in late May, Danielle Gaines reports for Maryland Matters.
- Senate President Bill Ferguson and House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones say they have not ruled out the possibility of holding a special session later in the year, Pamela Wood and Luke Broadwater write in the Sun.
- The General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on March 18 amid concerns about the virus, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter.
SALONS CAN OPEN, BUT ONLY FOR SOME ESSENTIAL WORKERS: Gov. Larry Hogan issued new guidance for barbershops and salons Monday, allowing them to open for appointments but only for certain essential workers as the coronavirus continues to spread. McKenna Oxenden of the Sun writes that the Office of Legal Counsel said it advised Hogan to allow appointment-only services for those who need to maintain “grooming standards” established by an employer.
HOSPITALS FACE $1 BILLION SHORTFALL: Maryland’s hospitals could face a collective revenue shortfall of $1 billion in the three-month period from April through June because of the cancellation of elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures, according to the Maryland Hospital Association, Morgan Eichensehr of the Baltimore Business Journal writes.
BANKS SEEK MORE PPP FUNDING: While Maryland businesses received billions of dollars in loans from the federal government, local bank officials say there is a substantial need for new funding for the Paycheck Protection Program that ran out of funds last week, Adam Bednar reports in the Daily Record.
MD COVID-19 CASES HIT 13,684: There are 13,684 total confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout Maryland, according to Sun staff.
- The number of coronavirus cases that have been reported in Montgomery County increased to 2,647 on Monday morning — an increase of 51% in the county’s total in the past week, Dan Schere of Bethesda Beat reports.
FROM WUHAN TO BALTIMORE COUNTY: Two months after leaving Wuhan, China, professor William Lowe and his family find themselves anxiously waiting for the pandemic to peak in their Baltimore County community. And wondering about what will follow. In the meantime, the sense of security Lowe felt about being back in the United States has evaporated, writes Joe Heim for the Post.
MO CO SEEKS MORE COVID FUNDS FOR COUNTIES: Montgomery County officials urged Sen. Chris Van Hollen on Monday to work for the state to provide additional funds to counties through a third federal COVID-19 relief package, Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat is reporting. According to the letter, Montgomery County could lose $25 million in income tax revenues every month as fallout from the coronavirus cripples the economy.
JENNINGS CALLS FOR FOXWELL’s DISCIPLINE: Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter.com reports that Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings (R-Baltimore & Harford counties) said Peter Franchot’s chief of staff, Len Foxwell, should be disciplined for having made inflammatory remarks on social media about members of a conservative group who are against stay-at-home orders and other restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
7th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SPECIAL ELECTION: Elijah Westbrook of WBFF-TV reports on the special election for the 7th Congressional District seat to fill the House seat held by the late Elijah Cummings, including how the election will be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.