Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Hogan said he was following Trump’s recommendation that states work to acquire tests for the virus.
“If there was an easier way, we certainly would’ve taken it,” Hogan said. “The president said that the governors are on their own and they should really focus on getting their own tests, and that’s exactly what we did. His message changed yesterday. I’m not sure why.
“The states have been competing on the open market, the domestic market and the international market throughout this entire crisis, competing with each other and with the federal government. I’m not sure it should’ve been that way, but that’s the way it is. That’s the way the president said it had to be, so that’s what we were operating under.”
During Monday’s federal coronavirus task force briefing, Trump criticized Hogan and the state’s purchase of the tests, citing the number of labs in Maryland to tout the available testing capacity. The criticism came after Hogan, on a call with Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s coronavirus response team and the nation’s governors, said many of the labs were federally owned and Maryland did not have access to them.
Hogan repeated that point later Monday evening and again Tuesday on national news programs. The governor added via Twitter that the federal government had opened the labs to the state, but reiterated that the issue was a lack of tests — not lab space.
“The president showed that in a press conference, basically said we didn’t have to go to Korea because look at all these things we have in our state,” Hogan said. “Well, they aren’t tests. They’re just labs that don’t have any tests."
“We now have the tests, they have the labs, and that should be a great solution," Hogan added. “We should be able to now start to get to work together.”
In addition to disagreeing with Trump’s promotion of nationwide protests to reopen the economy, Hogan also questioned Trump’s tweet announcing he would sign an executive order to ban immigration into the United States, though Hogan said he hadn’t seen the tweet because “I try not to pay any attention to the tweets from the president.”
The president announced late Monday what he described as a “temporary suspension of immigration into the United States." He said the executive order he planned to sign as soon as Wednesday would apply only to people seeking permanent residency.
“It’s just, I think, a distraction from what’s really going on,” Hogan said of the immigration issue on “The View."
“My wife is a first-generation immigrant from South Korea and just helped us through those relationships acquire half a million tests from the folks there in South Korea that’s gonna help save lives in our state, and that’s what we’re really focused on here," the governor said. "We have some terrific people from all around the world that are working in our hospitals, in our health care system, that are saving people’s lives, and we appreciate it.”