You can apparently count Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) among the solid majority of Americans who are unimpressed with President Trump’s COVID-19 response. In a brutal Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, for example, 62 percent of registered voters said Trump is hurting the effort to fight COVID-19, while 67 percent said they don’t trust the information he shares about the disease. Unlike most Americans, though, Hogan has a front-row seat to Trump’s response, both as a governor and chairman of the National Governors Association.
Hogan published a detailed, withering critique of Trump’s response in an op-ed Thursday in Trump’s least-favorite newspaper, The Washington Post. He started with the extraordinary effort he and his Korean-born wife, Yumi Hogan, made to fly 500,000 COVID-19 tests in from South Korea in April, sending them into safe hiding under armed guard because “the federal government had recently seized 3 million N95 masks purchased by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.”
This airlift from Seoul “shouldn’t have been necessary,” Hogan writes, but “I’d watched as the president downplayed the outbreak’s severity and as the White House failed to issue public warnings, draw up a 50-state strategy, or dispatch medical gear or lifesaving ventilators from the national stockpile to American hospitals. Eventually, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation’s response was hopeless.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other federal health experts gave a dire, “unfiltered,” and prescient briefing to Americans governors in early February, Hogan writes, and “it was jarring, the huge contrast between the experts’ warnings and the president’s public dismissals” He detailed things Trump did and said, and more importantly, the things he did not do.
“Governors always do the hard work, make the tough decisions and take the political heat,” Hogan writes. “But an undertaking as large as a national testing program required Washington’s help. We expected something more than constant heckling from the man who was supposed to be our leader. Trump soon disabused us of that expectation.” Read the essay at The Washington Post. Peter Weber