Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and former First Lady Kendel Ehrlich are participants in the state’s campaign to urge Marylanders to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, the Department of Health announced Tuesday.
“We are honored to have Bob and Kendel Ehrlich serve as our newest GoVAX Ambassadors,” Department of Health Secretary Dennis Schrader said in a statement. “With the help of prominent Marylanders spreading the message, we can continue our mission of vaccinating all eligible Marylanders and finish the job against COVID-19.”
The former first couple are featured in a 30-second public service announcement YouTube video that debuted on Tuesday. The video will soon air on both television and radio stations throughout Maryland.
The GoVAX campaign includes other prominent ambassadors such as Gov. Larry Hogan, First Lady Yumi Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford. Also included are local doctors, religious leaders, sports figures and first responders.
“Kendel and I recently chose to vaccinate against COVID-19,” the former governor said in the video. “Did we have to? No. Did we want to? Yes…. “We wanted to do our part to get rid of the need for masks and other restrictions. Everyone deserves to get back to normal, and the best way to get that done is to get vaccinated.”
“We wanted to protect our family, our friends, and ourselves… It may not be a simple choice to vaccinate but it is the right choice,” the former first lady added.
Ehrlich, 63, served as Maryland’s 60th governor and was in office from 2003-07. Ehrlich is senior counsel at the Washington, D.C. law firm King & Spalding. He and the former first lady host a political podcast: Bottom Line with Bob and Kendel Ehrlich.
Mrs. Ehrlich, 59, served in then-President Donald Trump’s Justice Department from 2019-20. She is both a former assistant public defender and a former assistant state’s attorney.
There are 460,737 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland as of Tuesday morning, according to the Department of Health, and 9,438 people in Maryland have died from the virus. The state’s positivity rate is at 1.01%, which is well within CDC recommended guidelines for containment. Maryland has conducted more than 10.5 million COVID-19 tests.
Maryland’s health care providers have administered 6,320,635 doses of the coronavirus vaccine. That includes 3,284,921 (54.335%) first doses and 2,793,685 (46.21%) second doses. More than 3,035,000 people in Maryland are fully vaccinated, which is roughly half of the state’s total population.