Republican Governor Slaps Down Trump Testing Claim: ‘That’s Just Not True’
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday rejected President Donald Trump’s claim that there’s no longer a shortage of coronavirus tests, calling the assertion “just not true” and warning that no state has enough tests.
Hogan, who issued a statewide stay-at-home order a day earlier, told NPR’s “Morning Edition” that the country’s governors have made some progress in working with the federal government to obtain additional medical supplies, but more is needed.
“President Trump has suggested that the testing problems are over,” NPR’s Rachel Martin told Hogan during the interview.
“Yeah, that’s just not true,” said Hogan, who chairs the National Governors Association. “I know that they’ve taken some steps to create new tests, but they’re not actually produced and distributed out to the states. So it’s an aspirational thing.”
He added that the Trump administration has some new testing measures “in the works,” but for now “no state has enough testing.”
Asked if he’s concerned that Trump doesn’t have accurate information, Hogan said he believes others in the administration are “talking about the facts.”
“We’re listening to the smart team,” said Hogan, naming Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the White House coronavirus task force, including doctors Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci.
Trump reportedly told governors during a conference call Monday that he had not “heard about testing in weeks,” even though governors, medical experts and health care workers have been repeatedly sounding the alarm about the continuing shortage of tests.
In a separate interview Tuesday, Hogan told CNN that there’s “no question” that leaders in every state and the federal government believe there’s a need for more testing.
“I’m not here to point blame,” Hogan said. “We’re all working to try to get more testing. … It doesn’t matter who’s supposed to be doing these things ― we’ve all got to get together and get them done because it’s going to save lives.”
“Without the tests we really are flying blind,” he continued. “We’re sort of guessing about where the outbreaks are and about what the infection rate and the hospitalization rates are and the mortality rates.”
On Monday, Hogan and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ― who was attacked by Trump after she criticized his response to the pandemic ― published a joint editorial in The Washington Post outlining the help that states need from the federal government.
Hogan told NPR on Tuesday that “every single state” has a shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment, such as masks.
“We’ve been pushing these things at the federal level, but there’s simply not enough of them,” he said.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hogan has been critical of Trump in the past. He harshly criticized the president last year after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. And in October, he expressed support for an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
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