Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) expressed confusion on Tuesday after President Donald Trump targeted him a day earlier for taking his state’s coronavirus testing into his own hands ― per the president’s advice.
“I’m really not sure what he’s upset about,” Hogan said during an interview with “America’s Newsroom” host Sandra Smith on Fox News. “We did what he told us to do, which was go out and get our testing. And we had a great call with his entire team yesterday, and I was leading the call on behalf of all the governors.”
On Monday, Trump took a swipe at Hogan, who is chair of the National Governors Association, after Hogan sourced 500,000 extra test kits for his state from South Korea. His wife Yumi Hogan, who is a Korean immigrant, worked with him to negotiate the shipment.
Hogan recently rebutted Trump’s claim that adequate testing was available in the U.S., and in a New York Times interview about obtaining the tests from abroad, he noted, “It should not have been this difficult.”
Trump subsequently singled Hogan out during a press briefing. “He really didn’t know about the federal laboratories,” Trump said, referring to a call Vice President Mike Pence held with governors earlier on Monday to address testing. “He didn’t really understand too much about what was going on, so now I think he’ll be able to do that; it’s pretty simple.”
Hogan has actually been pushing for extra testing for weeks. After the briefing, he thanked Trump for providing Maryland access to federal labs to process the test kits acquired from South Korea.
I’m grateful to President Trump for sending us a list of federal labs and generously offering Maryland use of them for #COVID19 testing. Accessing these federal labs will be critical for utilizing the 500,000 tests we have acquired from South Korea.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) April 21, 2020
Hogan noted on Tuesday that his state had been attempting to use federal labs for “more than a month now.”
“So we got a commitment yesterday from the vice president and from the president that we can now use federal labs — which is terrific.”
Remarking that Trump “was not on the call” with governors, Hogan suggested that perhaps he “got confused in the press conference.”
“It was a great call,” he said. “I have no idea what he was upset about.”
He also publicly released a letter on Tuesday to formally accept the use of federal labs and mentioned that he, along with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) had requested federal help with testing in the capital region over a month ago. He asked for guidance on how to immediately proceed with accessing the facilities.
Watch his interview on Fox News below.