Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pushing to have more federal funding for coronavirus testing kits and to aid state governments. He says Washington missed opportunities to stop the public health crisis early on. (July 23)
- Good morning. How are-- I was just telling him--
LARRY HOGAN: Yeah, the biggest mistake in the first couple months was not developing a national testing strategy, throughout the pandemic was not assisting the states enough with testing. Now as it's spiking back up again, we have a resurgence of this virus all across the country, the number one thing we can do is to put more into testing and contact tracing to identify and stop the spread. They've improved a lot of things since then, but that first two months was critical in stopping the virus. And for most of February and March a lot of April, they were not up to speed.
All the leaders in the administration, the experts and the public health doctors at the CDC, they were aware and providing this information. And yet it seemed as if the president was doing-- downplaying it and saying, you know, this virus is going to disappear. It's 15 people and soon it will be none. And that's nothing to worry about. And it's the sniffles. And we have one case.
And everybody else-- the governors were kicked into high gear to say we've got to get to work. A month and a half, two months ago, he committed to more support for the states. The vice president, the Secretary Mnuchin, others said-- we almost got the funding into the 3.5 stimulus bill. It got left out at the last moment.
Now we're seeing a lot of backpedaling and money not being put in. We've already lost 1.6 million state and local government workers across the country. There are estimates we may lose 4 million without this help.
They provided some funding, but this is critically important to keep state governments functioning. We can't have state governments collapsing and putting more people on the unemployment lines and not able to provide services to people who are desperately in need.