Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who celebrated the arrival of 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea nearly a month ago, is now being pressed to account for their distribution.
U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown sent a letter to the governor dated April 24, thanking Hogan for his work on getting the tests but then asking for information about how and where the tests are being used and whether Maryland had all the components needed for testing.
And Brown’s not alone.
In a letter dated Saturday, Del. Kirill Reznik, who represents Montgomery County, wrote to the Secretary of Health asking for an accounting of the deployment of the tests.
Brown and Reznik are Democrats. Brown, a former Lt. Governor, ran for governor against Hogan in 2014.
Unless the governor’s office can track where and how the tests are being deployed, “What was the point of using $9 million of taxpayers’ money to get these tests — and then not use them?” Reznik said.
The Hogan administration said the arrival of the tests would increase the state’s capacity to test residents at nursing homes and in other hot spots across the state. Hogan has called for universal testing at nursing homes, where the number of deaths from COVID-19 is highest.
Local leaders have voiced frustration with the slow rollout of the tests, and Hogan pushed back on his critics and said the order of the tests is “only one part of the puzzle” to increase testing in the state, because there are still shortages of other supplies needed to run the tests.
Reznik said as of Monday he had not received a response from the Hogan administration.
On Sunday, Gov. Hogan’s Facebook page stated that hundreds of tests had been delivered to a home for disabled veterans in Southern Maryland.
Monday, Ricci tweeted that 300 agricultural workers in Cecil and Kent Counties had been tested.
On Friday, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobroooks said she had asked for 90,000 tests. Prince George’s County has the highest number of cases of COVID-19.
Alsobrooks said she had been told that getting tests would depend on the county’s lab capacity and that she was working with the Hogan administration on the issue. But she added, “God loves the child that’s got his own,” when she explained the county is also working on obtaining tests independently.
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