APR 20, 2020
Maryland is getting hundreds of thousands of coronavirus testing kits from South Korea, enabling the state to ramp up its testing, Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday.
The supplies from LabGenomics, a South Korean company, will enable the state to administer 500,000 coronavirus tests, according to the Hogan administration. The tests cost the state $9 million — a “worthwhile investment” given how much money is being lost by having so many businesses closed, Hogan said.
The Republican governor’s Korean-born wife, Yumi Hogan, was involved in securing the deal, making calls to the South Korean ambassador. Hogan said his team had been “quietly working” for several weeks on the project to obtain more kits that he dubbed “Operation Enduring Friendship.”
After "22 straight days" of negotiations and vetting that involved scientists and agencies in both countries, Hogan said the deal was finally completed.The Hogans welcomed a Boeing 777 plane that arrived from South Korea at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport on Saturday with the testing supplies.
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 also singled out his wife.
“Most importantly, I want to thank Maryland’s first lady, my wife, Yumi. She truly is a champion of this Operation Enduring Freedom,” Hogan said.