Governors react to Trump's communication during coronavirus outbreak: 'It's background noise'

Tim O'Donnell

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) — who declared a state of emergency in the Old Line state this week after three positive cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, were confirmed — told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday he's actually pretty pleased with the Trump administration's handling of the outbreak, even though he doesn't love how Trump himself has communicated.

During an appearance on Meet the Press, Hogan said the key was appointing Vice President Mike Pence, who is a former governor himself, to coordinate the response with the states and other agencies. He said Pence has done a good job of communicating with governors, so far, and thinks his messaging is the way things "ought to go."

He wasn't as keen on Trump's performance, though he remained quite diplomatic while speaking with Todd. "I would say he hasn't communicated the way I would, and the way I might like him to," Hogan said. "But I think the rest of the team is doing a pretty good job."

Then there's Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) who is overseeing the country's largest cluster of cases. The president Friday called Inslee a "snake" and said he instructed Pence not to treat him nicely or else Inslee would take advantage.

Inslee, though, mostly brushed the comments off, saying he really doesn't care what Trump thinks of him. "It's background noise," he said, adding that it's time for everyone to work together to handle the crisis. Like Hogan, he said Pence was "helpful" in that regard.

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